As the clock ticks down to the weekend’s eagerly-awaited Premier League action, there are no prizes for guessing which topic dominates the City-centric headlines on Friday morning…

Of course, it’s the clash of the heavyweights: Liverpool v City – the Champions League winners against the Premier League title holders, the league leaders against the reigning Champions; Pep Guardiola v Jurgen Klopp, Red versus Blue…

Guardiola will be addressing the media in his press conference at 1:30pm GMT this afternoon, but what’s being said around the world in the build-up to Sunday’s mouth-watering match…?

READ: Henry Winter | Guardiola has inspired enlightened era

WATCH: Brief highlights | Atalanta v City

Match previews

Goal: Liverpool vs Manchester City headlines weekly schedule

“First meets second in the Premier League on Sunday, as European champions Liverpool meet defending league champions Manchester City at Anfield.

“This is the mouth-watering top-of-the-table bout that supporters have been anticipating all season, with the duo appearing a cut above the rest of the competitors in the division so far.

“Despite their remarkable record last term, Liverpool were pipped to the title by City, with the matches between them ultimately proving decisive in the context of the title race.

"The form guide is with the Reds, who have lost only one of their last 28 top-flight fixtures at home to City—a 2-1 defeat in May 2003—and haven’t lost against the Sky Blues in their last 16 matches at home.

“It’s worth noting the Citizens’ form is improving; they were defeated four times in a row between 2015 and 2016, but haven’t lost any of their last five games against Liverpool, even if they are winless in their last 16 away league games at Anfield.

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“Certainly, their own away form will take some stopping, with City having won 11 of their last 12 away games in the Prem—a shock 3-2 defeat by Norwich City.

“They’ll be encouraged by the fact the imperious defensive displays Liverpool were posting last term appear to have dissipated; Klopp’s side has now conceded in each of their last five home games."

 

ESPN: Liverpool vs. Manchester City: Get ready for the Premier League's biggest game of the season

Mark Ogden: "Liverpool vs. Manchester City has become the biggest game in English football.

“The two clubs have pulled away from the pack to battle it out for the major honours and Sunday's clash at Anfield promises to have a huge impact on the Premier League title race.

“Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, champions of Europe, go into the game with a six point lead over City at the top of the table, having made an unbeaten start to the 2019-20 season.

“Only Manchester United have been able to take points off Liverpool so far this term, drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford last month.”


From the players

Daily Express: Man City ace Fernandinho fires warning at Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s table-topping clash

Fernandinho: “We go there and try to win the game.

"The mentality is always try to win the game, as we did [against Atalanta] from the first minute.

“As I say to the lads, with a game like [against Atalanta], if you can't win, you don't lose.

WATCH: City 2-1 Liverpool: Brief highlights

“One man down, both keepers went out for different situations. I think that's the spirit of the lads, for sure.

"As I say, we go there Sunday and try to win the game."


View from the opposition

Sky Sports: Jurgen Klopp interview: Manchester City is a 'want to win' game

Jurgen Klopp: "We are at matchday 12 so obviously there are some games to come. We know about the City situation last year where we only lost one game and that was decisive in the end.

"That's maybe how people see it, but you have to play all the games. There is so much to come, and the most intense period of the year in November, December and January is still coming so we have to be ready for all these games.

"In the last couple of years, we both gave a lot of respect for each other. City's performance at Liverpool last season was probably the biggest show of respect one of my teams ever got. That's how it is.

"They played differently to what they usually do - that's true. But, that's football. We all have to make a plan for one game, and in this specific case against one of the best sides in the world.

"We play at home, and last season we played a game at theirs where we lost by 11 millimetres otherwise the ball was in [John Stones' clearance on the goal line] and it was another draw.

"I think that would have been deserved, so there are tight games and that's how it is when high-quality teams face each other, so I expect another tight game."

WATCH: Goal of the Day: Anelka v Liverpool

 

Daily Star: Georginio Wijnaldum sends Liverpool warning to Man City ahead of crunch clash

Georginio Wijnaldum: “We just create that thing that we know we always can turn things around.

"We always have that feeling, to stay positive. That's also because of the results we had until now, and the way we came back.

"Our mindset is different, which is quite good, because we keep doing the things we want to do in a game.

"Normally if you are 2-0 down, your body language is going to change, but we still have that mindset that we can still turn it around.

"It's because of the belief we have in each other, but also the results we have had. We have (turned games around) a lot of times. That gives confidence.

"If it just happened once, it's not the same. But it happened over and over. We know we are a team that can always come back from difficult situations - but of course we don't want to let it go that far.

"It's hard, really hard. You have to go until the end, and you have to go even when you don't physically see a positive outcome.

"Especially at the end of the games, you just keep going because you think you can.”


In other news

She Kicks: Manchester City GK Ellie Roebuck talks #Lionesses, Wembley & more…

Ellie Roebuck (on learning to appreciate her achievements more): “A lot of people actually tell me to do that quite often because I have quite high standards for myself and I’m always pushing for more.

“When I signed for City when I was 15, I think if I’d expected to have played over 50 games, then I’d have snapped someone’s hand off literally so to be in that fortunate position – for Nick and Phil to have the faith in me; for Phil to bring me into the squad and Nick to play me week in, week out and really put that faith in me and back me – it’s an unbelievable feeling.

“I do sometimes sit back and think: I’m only just 20, I’m playing Champions League, I’ve made my England debut – it is an unbelievable feeling. I don’t think I’d ever have expected it.

“Sometimes I do sit back, but then I’m the type of personality that just wants more and more and more, so I never really think: 'I’ve done that – that’s alright'. It’s like: 'What’s next?' – whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing I don’t know.”

WATCH: Continental Cup highlights: City 2-1 Birmingham

Transfer gossip

Sport Witness: Manchester City scouting Argentine centre back – Would cost €15m

Sean Lunt: “Manchester City are keeping track of Racing Club defender Elías Machuca but may have to pay €15m to sign him.

Olé in Argentina report that City have been keeping a close eye on the 16-year-old, with scouts having watched the defender this season.

“The centre back is ‘one of the greatest’ projects at the club and has been a part of both Argentina’s under 15 and 16 youth sides.

“That’s presumably where Manchester City have picked up on him, but Racing were one step ahead of the Premier League side.

“Having been alerted to City’s interest, Racing chiefs moved to lock the youngster down to a new deal until 2022 and inserted a €15m release clause in there to ensure they got a decent fee should Manchester City ever come knocking.”