Liverpool's clash with Manchester City will be 'fascinating viewing' and likely filled with goals, argues football writer and Blues fan Dan Burke in our view from the opposition.
The Reds put their 17-match unbeaten run on the line against Pep Guardiola’s side, who have yet to taste defeat in the Premier League this term, in a meeting between the division’s top-scoring teams on Sunday.
City fan Dan’s optimism is tempered by the visitors’ record at Anfield – one win in the past 26 league trips – but, given their outstanding form, looks ahead to the encounter with more confidence than perhaps ever before…
City are 15 points clear and unbeaten in the league. As it stands, is there any stopping your side this season?
At the risk of counting our chickens before they’ve hatched, I really find it hard to imagine anyone else winning the league from here. It would require relegation form from City between now and the end of the season if they were to let it slip and I just can’t see that happening.
We will definitely lose games, though, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if our first league defeat of the season came at our bogey ground this Sunday.
What has changed from last season to this? In what ways has Pep Guardiola stamped his influence?
Well first and foremost, some of the signings we made in the summer have drastically strengthened some of last season’s weaknesses. Having a reliable goalkeeper and mobile full-backs has improved us no end.
We’ve also had a bit of good fortune here and there, while several players are having the best seasons of their careers at the moment. Kevin de Bruyne is the main one, but pretty much every player in the squad has stepped things up a notch this term.
And in terms of Guardiola, I think we’re now seeing the benefits of the time and patience he’s been afforded to implement his ideas and playing style.
City played some very good stuff at times last season but they didn’t do it consistently enough and I think the consistency we’re seeing this year is the result of hours and hours of practice on the training ground.
When things were going badly last season, people said Guardiola’s brand of football would never work in England but he stuck to his guns and at the moment, those people are eating their words.
Everybody knows about City’s attacking exploits, but who are the unsung heroes in the side?
Nicolas Otamendi is a player who has improved immensely this season, as has John Stones alongside him.
Kyle Walker has been a brilliant buy and Fabian Delph has been nothing short of superb since he was drafted into the team and asked to play in an unfamiliar position.
And moving further up the pitch, Fernandinho is almost always excellent and never less than 100 per cent committed to the cause.
You’ve told us before that you dread visits to Anfield – does that feeling remain despite City’s remarkable form?
Absolutely! It’s been so long since we’ve won there that I can no longer even imagine it happening.
But if we somehow do end our hoodoo this weekend, I’m really going to start feeling like something very special is happening this season.
These are two incredibly attacking teams. How do you expect the game to play out?
I can’t imagine a game between a Jürgen Klopp team and a Guardiola team ever being boring so it should be fascinating viewing for the neutral and a nervy but exhilarating 90 minutes for the two sets of supporters.
I can see there being a few goals, that’s for sure.
What have you made of Liverpool’s performances so far this season?
I’ve been thoroughly impressed with Liverpool in an attacking sense again this season but I think it’s fair to say you’ve been undone by defensive errors too many times this season.
The signing of Virgil van Dijk should help in that department, however, and I can see you finishing the campaign very strongly and having a proper crack at the title next season.
Which Liverpool player concerns you most?
My answer to this question always used to be Philippe Coutinho and it’s a relief to know at least he won’t be scoring against us on Sunday!
But now you’ve got an equally exceptional player in Mohamed Salah, who has to be the signing of the season and seems to score every week. I thought he was your most dangerous player at the Etihad earlier in the season and I’ll be expecting more of the same this weekend.
What is your prediction for the match?
I’m going to go crazy and say City will win 4-3!