De Bruyne tries to stop Salah in Septembers reverse fixture. Photo Daily Star
Liverpool take on Manchester City at Anfield today, looking to become the first team to beat the runaway Premier League leaders in the top flight this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side, who are unbeaten in their last 14 league games at home to City, will be looking for revenge after losing 5-0 at the Etihad in the reverse fixture in September.
However, the Reds will be playing their first match without Philippe Coutinho after the Brazil playmaker joined Barcelona for £142m last weekend, although his departure will be offset by Virgil van Dijk’s league debut for the hosts.
The Netherlands international made his first appearance for Liverpool in last Friday’s FA Cup third-round win over rivals Everton at Anfield, with the centre-back scoring his new team’s late winner.
Klopp is further boosted by the return from injury of top scorer Mohamed Salah, who has recovered from a recent groin problem and will lead the line.
The visitors, meanwhile, head to Merseyside holding a massive 15-point lead over second-placed Manchester United in the table going into the weekend fixtures and looking to extend their current 30-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
One player City boss Pep Guardiola will be hoping to fire his team to victory this weekend is striker Sergio Aguero, who has scored more Premier League goals against Liverpool than any other City player (six in 11 games).
However, the Argentine – who will start in attack in the absence of injured forward Gabriel Jesus – is yet to find the net in five league visits to Anfield.
Liverpool have Salah (groin) back from injury to face City, however, this game has come too soon for the likes of striker Daniel Sturridge (hamstring), captain Jordan Henderson (hamstring) and left-back Alberto Moreno (ankle).
That trio are all back in training, though, while right-back Nathaniel Clyne remains sidelined with a long-running back problem.
City will be missing Brazil international Jesus, who is set to be out for the next two weeks with a knee ligament injury, while captain Vincent Kompany is absent with a calf strain. Left-back Benjamin Mendy is still missing with a long-term knee injury.
Liverpool have conceded just four goals in their last 13 Premier League home games (W7 D6 L0), keeping nine clean sheets in that time.
Liverpool have not won four Premier League games in a row since December 2016 – the fourth game of which was a home win against Manchester City.
No opposing manager has beaten Guardiola more often than Klopp in all competitions (four, level with Jose Mourinho).
Since Klopp took charge of Liverpool in October 2015, the Reds have won more points in Premier League games between the ‘big six’ than any other side (39). They also have more wins (9), fewer defeats (3) and more goals (40) than anyone else in these fixtures.
Salah has been involved in 22 goals in his opening 21 Premier League games for Liverpool (17 goals, five assists); only two players have ever been involved in more in their opening 21 Premier League games for a club – Andrew Cole at Newcastle and Dwight Yorke at Manchester United (23 each).
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