Manchester City vs Liverpool: The modern-day EPL rivalry [Opinion]

With already 147 goals between them this season, these two sides possess the most potent attacks in Europe.

Guardiola and Klopp Image Courtesy Sky Sports

It wouldn’t be far from the truth if I were to say that Premier League fans across the world would be treated to pure box-office action when Liverpool travels to face Manchester City later today.

With just a point separating the two on top of the Premier League table, the circumstances couldn’t be any grander. At the start of the year, City had already opened a 14-point gap and not many ever imagined that they would have to dig deep towards the end of the season to defend their title.

Liverpool would then embark on this impressive run of winning nine games on the trot while City fumbled against Tottenham Hotspurs and Crystal Palace.

Today’s clash is the proverbial 'all or nothing' as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp look to extend this modern-day rivalry in the world’s most competitive league.

With already 147 goals between them this season, these two sides possess the most potent attacks in Europe. Perhaps only eclipsed by the goal machine that is Bayern Munich.

Liverpool was already firing from all cylinders with runaway golden boot contender Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino terrorizing defenders at will. January saw the arrival of another prolific attacker in Luis Diaz who wasted no time in hitting the ground running.

Meanwhile, City have been scoring their goals from all quarters. With no apparent and clear striker in the team, Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez lead City’s scoring charts this season with the likes of Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan popping up with a couple of goals every now and then. Simply put, you never know where City’s next goal is coming from.

It's said that a good attack wins you games but a good defence wins you titles. Virgil Van Dijk’s return to action this season has been monumental for Jurgen Klopp. Joel Matip has also undergone some form of reincarnation with his outbursts of pace upfront which set off Liverpool’s attacks.

Ruben Dias will definitely be a big miss for Guardiola. But the pick of the day as far as both teams' defences are concerned will be the Trent Alexander Arnold vs Joao Cancelo factor. It's fair to say that the former has quickly established himself as one of the best passers in world football with his pinpoint crosses. But Cancelo has consistently put in top-tier performances this season with his ingenuity and flair that has got renowned commentator Jim Beglin thinking he could easily play as a number 10.

Up for battle will also be the race for the golden glove with both Brazilian keepers Ederson and Allison tied at 17 clean sheets a piece.

This tie is on its way, if it hasn’t already established itself as the game of the season given the high standards the two managers have set. A rivalry that dates back in the Bundesliga when the two were managing Germany’s arguably best clubs, you get the feeling that it will be gloves off completely at the Etihad today.

And to make it even better, they meet again in a weeks’ time as the issue of who will be qualifying for the FA Cup final will be at play.

So, will it be Mohammed Salah with another masterstroke or will it be Kevin De Bruyne with another belter? Will John Stones pull off another incredible goal-line clearance? And can Raheem Sterling finally score against his old side?

Irrespective of the football divide you are on, it will be fireworks. I’ll suggest you call your nearest cereals depot and get your popcorn ready!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Pulse as its publisher.

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