What could be the key matchups for Manchester City clash with Liverpool

With the international break over, Manchester City are preparing to face Liverpool on Saturday. The game will see the top two sides in the Premier League go head-to-head. Here is a look at some of the key matchups in what promises to be an enthralling encounter.

Josko Gvardiol vs Mo Salah

With doubts over Nathan Ake’s fitness, it would appear that Josko Gvardiol will likely lineup at left-back. Waiting for him will be City’s tormentor of season’s past in Mo Salah. The Egyptian winger has scored 11 goals in 18 appearances against the European champions. Salah sits second to Erling Haaland as the Premier League’s top scorer with 10. He is still arguably Jurgen Klopp’s side’s most dangerous weapon up front.

Keeping Salah quiet could go a long way to helping Manchester City gain a positive result on Saturday. Gvardiol has the ability and defensive acumen to take on such a tough challenge.

Rodri vs the Liverpool midfield

Arguably the key battle in the entire game will be Rodri against the new look Liverpool midfield. City’s midfield general is without a doubt his side’s most important player and how he performs may go a long way in determining the outcome.

With John Stones injured, and his return currently unknown it will likely fall to Bernardo Silva to drop into midfield to form a double pivot with Rodri. Mateo Kovacic will miss as he’s currently sidelined with a quad injury.

In their 3-nil win over Brentford Liverpool lined up with Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai and Cody Gakpo across midfield. Trent Alexander-Arnold also drifts centrally in the John Stones mould for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Liverpool now have plenty of options at their disposal in midfield.

The midfield battle will be one to watch in such a crucial game.

Erling Haaland vs Virgil Van Dijk

While it won’t be a one-on-one contest to decide the game, the performance of City’s number 9 and Liverpool’s captain could well decide the game.

Haaland has scored 9 goals in his past 6 appearances for City. The striker scored a brace against Chelsea last time out for the Premier League champions. He did pick up an injury while on international duty, but Fabrizio Romano reported that he should be available for the Liverpool clash.

Van Dijk is Liverpool’s barometer. It’s no coincidence he has looked back to his best so far this season and Liverpool has risen up the table. If the Dutch international can inspire his team at the back it could give them an advantage at the Etihad.


Saturday’s clash between two possible title rivals promises to be an epic encounter. There is no shortage of tantalising matchups all over the pitch. A potential classic Premier League encounter awaits at the Etihad on Saturday.

Tags Bernardo Silva Cody Gakpo Dominik Szoboszlai English Premier League Erling Haaland Etihad Stadium John Stones Josko Gvardiol Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Manchester City Mateo Kovacic Mo Salah Nathan Ake Pep Guardiola Rodri Trent Alexander-Arnold Virgil Van Dijk Wataru Endo