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Friday, April 12, 2024

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The best game in Europe belongs to the North West; Now we await another chapter

Over the last decade there has been fixtures which have caught the eye of the footballing world for the pure quality that is on show.

The El Classico when Pep Guardiola was in charge of Barcelona with Lionel Messi up against Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Der Klassiker when Jurgen Klopp was in charge of Borussia Dortmund.

Now it is Liverpool versus Manchester City with there being a bit of a common theme with those other two fixtures.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.

Two managers who when they stop doing what they love will go down as two of the greatest ever.

The pair of them have now got the highest quality game of football belonging to the North West with the whole world watching it every season.

That is because every season it delivers and that emphasises just how good of a job the pair have done in charge of their respective clubs.

Since being in England they have faced each other 13 times.

On aggregate the score is 23-18 to Manchester City and a lot of those games have been absolute classics.

The 4-3 win for Liverpool at Anfield in 2018 to stop Manchester City going invincible on their way to the title.

In that same season the Champions League quarter-finals that were explosive from Liverpool as they won 3-0 at Anfield in the first leg with an ferocious atmosphere as the underdogs.

Then Klopp’s side travelled to the Etihad and pulled out an even bigger shock by beating them in the away leg 2-1.

There have also been some mammoth victories for Manchester City.

5-0 in 2018 and then two wins by large margins in the last 18 months.

A 4-0 win just after Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for the title a couple of seasons ago and last season when Guardiola’s side ended any hopes that Liverpool had of defending that crown with a 4-1 win at an empty Anfield.

The best game of the lot though was the 2-1 triumph at The Etihad for Manchester City in 2019

It could be argued that it was the highest quality game the Premier League has ever seen, it was quite sensational, but it was alas for Liverpool supporters as the three points effectively won Guardiola the title that season.

So now what can we expect in the next segment of these two blissful sides.

Liverpool are the only unbeaten side left in English football league and before this weekend of fixtures had the most goals, most shots, most shots on target, highest expected goals, most passes into the box and also the most touches into the opposition box.

Also, The Reds are just coming off the back of battering Porto 5-1 in the Champions League but will also be wanting a reaction after the 3-3 draw at Brentford.

Manchester City had a slightly different week after losing 2-0 to PSG in the Champions League so Guardiola will be adamant that his side also need to show a reaction.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will be missing for Liverpool which will be vital for how the game pans out.

Thiago Alcantara is also out for Klopp however he shouldn’t really have a dilemma when picking his replacements.

James Milner and Curtis Jones have stepped up the plate in recent weeks and will be expected to start again.

Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko will both be missing for the Premier League champions.

Klopp understandably did not want to give anything away as he explained that there were several options he had for right-back.

“We have a line-up. We will see who we choose. Milner, Gomez, Neco, we could change system, we’ve had time to train this week” said the German.

It would be a shock to see Klopp change his famous system, but it certainly keeps Guardiola guessing.

The pair have already started the mind games being extremely complimentary about each other.

Klopp said: “Man City are for me the best team in Europe at the moment.”

Whilst Guardiola said that Jurgen Klopp has “made me a better manager.”

They could mean what they say but they are definitely not stupid and both love trying to get the edge over one another.

Now we wait and see what the new page in the next chapter of this illustrious book has for us.It is a book which will certainly go down in Premier League heritage.

READ MORE: We meet again: Porto vs Liverpool

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