Jinxes, Pep v Jurgen, away form and the loss of a player who always seemed to score against City...
1 Time to lay Anfield jinx?
If easily upset, look away now! City’s record at Anfield is one of football’s anomalies – there is no obvious reason why the Blues have left the red half of Merseyside empty-handed so many times.
Yes, Liverpool were dominant for most of the 1970s and 80s, but even when City have been top dogs at various spells over the years, Anfield still proved an unhappy destination.
Our last 50 visits in all competitions have produced just TWO wins – a run stretching back to the mid-1950s. Of those 50 games, the Blues have lost 34 and drawn 14 times.
So, can City lay the jinx this weekend? Our last win away to Liverpool was in May 2003 – more than 14 years ago – but the Reds are in fine form at Anfield and remain unbeaten this season.
They have conceded just four goals, making Jurgen Klopp’s side the meanest home defence in the Premier League.
Liverpool’s defence has been the subject of much discussion this season and last, but the stats suggest Anfield is very much a fortress.
City will go into the game in great spirit and remain unbeaten domestically this campaign – this match, however, maybe the severest test of the season – what better time to lay the bogey than now?
2 Big guns return?
While Silva has been absent for family reasons, it is likely he will be back for this game. Ederson, Otamendi and Fernandinho have all had well-earned rests from domestic cup duty and will return with their batteries recharged.
3 Pep v Jurgen
This will be the twelfth time Pep Guardiola has faced Jurgen Klopp and the German currently edges the head-to-heads.
Klopp won five out of nine meetings during the pair’s Bundesliga days, but the Premier League battles are currently a dead heat with three matches producing a win, draw and loss.
City were beaten 1-0 at Anfield last season and the return at the Etihad ended 1-1.
However, it was Pep who was smiling earlier this season when the Blues recorded the biggest winning margin for 82 years with a 5-0 thrashing of the Reds at the Etihad.
4 No away day Blues
While Liverpool’s home record is impressive this season, the Blues’ form on the road has been nothing short of sensational.
With 10 wins out of 11 and an unbeaten Premier League run away from the Etihad stretching back 14 games to last April, City have scored 35 goals and conceded just seven.
Something, it appears, has got to give on Sunday.
5 Coutinho effect?
Losing a player of Philippe Coutinho’s ability would have an effect on any club, but City fans won’t be too disappointed to see the Brazilian leave Liverpool.
Coutinho had a nasty habit of scoring spectacular goals against the Blues and had scored five goals in seven games plus one assist.
Of course, the return of Mohamed Salah will temper that loss somewhat, not to mention the combined talents of Robert Firminho and Sadio Mane.
Still, no more Coutinho 25-yarders for now!