Man City host Liverpool in the Premier League this weekend hoping to keep up the pressure on Arsenal at the top of the table. We preview the game with the key Opta stats and the supercomputer prediction.
Man City vs Liverpool: Quick Hits
- Manchester City are the favourites to win this match against Liverpool with the Opta supercomputer (50.9%).
- Erling Haaland faces a race against time to be fit and add to his 42-goal tally in 2022-23 at Man City.
- Mohamed Salah has scored in all three meetings with Man City so far this season – can he do it again?
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool head into this match on Saturday looking to complete a Premier League double over Manchester City for the first time since 2015-16, having defeated Pep Guardiola’s side back in October at Anfield.
They’ll have to improve their recent form away at Man City, however, having won just one of their last 13 Premier League trips to the Etihad Stadium (L7 D5) – that win coming back in November 2015.
The Reds will be buoyed by the fact that they have won on 23 occasions against a reigning Premier League champion across the history of the competition, but the last time that they won both home and away against the champions of the previous campaign was back in 2013-14, when they defeated Manchester United with Brendan Rodgers in charge.
This is the 28th meeting in all competitions as managers between Guardiola and Klopp – with Guardiola facing Klopp more times than any other manager in his top-flight career. Similarly, Klopp has faced Guardiola more times in his managerial career than any other manager. Guardiola has lost more often against Klopp than any other manager during his career. Of his 97 defeats as a coach in senior football (excluding penalty shootouts), 11 have come against the German.
Manchester City 3-2 Liverpool: 22 December 2022 (EFL Cup)
After losing the Liverpool in the FA Community Shield to open the 2022-23 season and then suffering a 1-0 defeat to the Reds in the Premier League in October, Manchester City finally secured a victory against Liverpool in their 3-2 League Cup fourth round win in December.
This was both sides’ first game back in competitive action following the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and fresh from a month of rest following Norway’s failure to qualify for the tournament, Erling Haaland took just 10 minutes to return to goalscoring form with the opener in this match.
Fabio Carvalho equalised for Liverpool to take the sides in level at the break, before City’s Riyad Mahrez and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored just 81 second apart to take the game to 2-2. Pep Guardiola’s side eventually won this League Cup tie, however, with Nathan Aké’s 58th minute goal from a Kevin De Bruyne cross.
Manchester City progressed to the quarter-finals thanks to this win but suffered a 2-0 defeat away at Southampton to exit the competition, which was eventually won by rivals Manchester United with a 2-0 win in the final against Newcastle United at Wembley.
The last Premier League meeting between these two clubs was at Anfield in October, with Liverpool running out 1-0 winners thanks to a Salah goal with 14 minutes remaining. This win ended Man City’s longest ever unbeaten away run in their league history (22 games), while Alisson provided the assist for the Egyptian’s strike – one of only three goalkeepers to assist a Premier League goal in 2022-23 alongside Man City’s Ederson and Everton’s Jordan Pickford.
Manchester City have won their last three Premier League games (vs Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Bournemouth) but are yet to win four in succession across the 2022-23 season – the last time they did this was across April and May last season.
Guardiola’s side have lost only one of their last 19 home games in the Premier League (W16 D2) and have won each of their last four at the Etihad Stadium. Their last Premier League home defeat came against Brentford on 12 November (2-1) – a game that was also in the Saturday lunchtime slot. Only Arsenal (35) have won more points at home than City (34) this season.
Liverpool have taken just 12 points from their 13 Premier League away games this season (W3 D3 L7), compared to 30 at home. They have the biggest difference between points won at home and on the road in the Premier League this season (18).
Klopp’s team have won fewer points away from home than 12 other teams in the Premier League this season – including relegation-threatened Southampton (13) and Leicester City (13).
Manchester City: Erling Haaland
After missing Norway’s Euro 2024 qualifiers through injury, Erling Haaland is touch and go for this match. But the importance of Haaland to this Man City side cannot be understated.
His 28 Premier League goals contribute 42% of City’s entire Premier League goal haul, while his goals have been worth 20 points for this club (based on results without those goals in games, they’d be 20 points worse off) – all three totals are the highest ever by a Manchester City player in a single Premier League season.
Across all competitions, he’s got 42 goals, including six hat-tricks – all those trebles coming at the Etihad Stadium. Only two players have scored more in a single campaign for a Premier League club (since 1992-93) – Ruud van Nistelrooy for Man Utd in 2002-03 and Mohamed Salah for Liverpool in 2017-18 (both 44).
It’ll be an epic tussle for him this Saturday against arguably the best Premier League centre-back, Virgil can Dijk, as he looks to break more records.
Liverpool: Mohamed Salah
Salah may end up seeing his record tally of goals for a Premier League club in a single season be overtaken by Haaland, but he won’t make it easy for Man City on Saturday.
He’s scored in all three of Liverpool’s games against Man City this season, in the Premier League, Community Shield and EFL Cup. The last Liverpool player to score in four different games against an opponent in a single campaign was Ian Rush, netting in five different meetings with Everton in 1986-87 (including the English Super Cup).
His Premier League goal tally is lower than usual so far this season (11 in 26 apps), plus he missed a penalty in his last league appearance against Bournemouth, but he’s still their top league scorer this season ahead of Roberto Firmino (eight), Darwin Núñez (eight) and Cody Gakpo (four).
He recently overtook Robbie Fowler (128) as Liverpool’s all-time leading scorer in the Premier League (129), with 104 of those being scored with his trusty left foot. Fowler is the only player to have scored more left-footed goals in the competition than Salah (105 vs. Salah’s 104, of which 102 have been at Liverpool) – another record that Salah will be taking off the former Liverpool legend in no time.
Man City vs Liverpool Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is giving Manchester City a higher chance of winning this match at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday lunchtime (50.9%) than Liverpool getting anything at all from the game (49.1%).
Man City certainly need to win this game to put pressure on Arsenal ahead of their match with Leeds United just hours later. City currently trail the Gunners by eight points with a game in hand and their chances of winning back-to-back Premier League titles are currently at 43.1% according to the Opta supercomputer projections.
Liverpool need a win to keep their top four aspirations alive, as they hope to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
They are currently seven points off Tottenham in fourth, but do have two games in hand on the north London side. The Opta supercomputer currently gives the Reds a 28.8% chance of finishing in the top four, which is below both Man Utd (91.0%) and Newcastle Utd (41.5%), but ahead of Spurs (24.3%) and Brighton (13.7%).