It is crunch time in England 

The most important fixture of the season. Liverpool versus Manchester City

A clash for the ages, the Premier League giants share a tantalizing modern-day rivalry which culminated in last season’s incredible title race. 

The buildup to the titanic clash has both managers playing mind games. Pep Guardiola has accused Sadio Mané of diving to win penalties while Jürgen Klopp responded with jibes at City’s tactical fouling.

You can cut through the tension with a knife however. City visit Anfield looking to reduce their six-point deficit from the unbeaten league leaders who haven’t tasted defeat in 45 home games.

The biggest game of the season. (Getty Images)
City simply cannot afford to drop nine points below their main challengers this early in the season, and Klopp’s side have barely dropped points.

However, the situation of both defences prompts a mouth-watering tactical battle.

City have conceded 10 goals in the absence of Aymeric Laporte; as they struggle to find a solid central defensive pairing out of Fernandinho, Nicolás Otamendi and John Stones. 
Guardiola also has to contend with the absences of Rodri, David Silva, Leroy Sané, Olexandr Zinchenko and Goalkeeper Ederson.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have conceded the second-fewest goals this season but have found clean sheets hard to come by as Alisson awaits his first shutout in four games since returning from injury.

Going forward, the Reds‘ creative threat lies in their marauding fullbacks. 

Alexander-Arnold is Liverpool’s creative lynchpin but the battle against Raheem Sterling is a tantalising affair. (
Trent Alexander-Arnold has supplied three assists and created the most chances in the league (40) alongside Kevin De Bruyne; the 21-year-old continues to trail-blaze in the role of the modern-day fullback as he leads other Premier League defenders for crosses (30) and big chances created (9). 

Andy Robertson offers as much on the opposite flank and scored the leveller at Aston Villa for his second goal of the season.
Klopp was able to rest a few players in Liverpool’s Champions League win against Genk in midweek while Guardiola’s side drew 1-1 in Italy to delay qualification to the knockout stages.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain memorably played a blinder in a 4-3 win at Anfield in 2018 before picking up a long-term knee injury against them in the Champions League quarterfinals of that year.
He has looked close to his best with a fourth goal in his last three starts and might start this one.

The game is set to lay down the marker for this season’s title race. (Marc Atkins/ Getty Images).
With a lot riding on this fixture for both managers, 
These giants would be keen to add another chapter to this Premier League classic and cement its place as one of the all-time greatest  Premier League title rivalries. 

Unlike the whirlwind nature of previous title rivalries, both managers have brought a refreshing feel to crunch day. With a mutual respect and perhaps friendliness between Jürgen and Pep, they have successfully diffused the fireworks from the conference rooms to the pitch; where it truly belongs.

Mo Salah and Bernardo Silva are only two of the stars bringing their world class quality to Anfield. (Getty Images)
On the pitch hence, do the superstars produce the sparkles of brilliance. Intensity, technique and relentless attacking football.

Have the popcorn ready!
Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin
November 9, 2019
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Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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