Liverpool V Man City – All set for Anfield’s title showdown

stevie-gerrardLiverpool‘s home game with Manchester City on Sunday appears to have been built up enough already, but there is no doubting that the Anfield showdown is as big a game as they come.

Former Reds striker John Aldridge played in a fair few title-winning seasons for his boyhood club and he rightly describes the clash as Liverpool’s biggest game in 25 years – even eclipsing the momentous Champions League games of 2005.

Brendan Rodgers has guided his side to the brink of a truly unbelievable and wholly unexpected title success. Liverpool are in unchartered waters in the Premier League era as they have their destiny in their own hands. There has not been this much optimism on the red half of Merseyside since their last top-flight success in 1990 and the way Rodgers has his side playing at the minute, plenty are predicting that the 24-year wait for a 19th crown will soon be over.

But there remain some serious hurdles to get over first – starting this weekend.

The match is all set up to be a classic. Both sides are intent on taking the game to each other so it could be who dares wins. At home this season, Liverpool have beaten all-comers with a fast-paced attacking mentality. They set out to control the game, start quickly and dominate possession. Manchester United, Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham have all deservedly been put to the sword at Anfield and, with a fervent home support backing them again, City will have to be aware of the early onslaught from Rodgers’ side.

But Manuel Pellegrini’s side, of course, remain a class act and the way they dismantled local rivals United a few weeks ago at Old Trafford should serve as a big reminder to Liverpool that, when they are truly on song, there are very few, if any, sides that can live with them. Yaya Toure is having another wonderful season dictating things from midfield, while Samir Nasri, David Silva and the fit-again Sergio Aguero will undoubtedly pose Liverpool’s often leaky defence plenty of questions. The two teams look fairly well matched – which is some achievement from Liverpool when comparing the amount of money spent assembling both squads.

Much has been made in the days leading up to the game about who is under more pressure. Some say City because of the millions invested and they were widely expected to challenging for the title come this stage of the season. But, such has been Liverpool’s momentum in recent weeks that there is a growing expectancy that, against all the odds, this can be their year. The home fans have grown accustomed to winning well at home and, despite City being the dangerous opponents, plenty inside Anfield on Sunday will, privately at least, be expecting another five-star display from the Reds.

The atmosphere is expected to be right up there with the famous European nights Anfield has been widely lauded for down the years and, make no mistake, when the old ground is at its rocking best, it remains a very intimidating arena for opponents to play in. Plenty of sides the equal of City have struggled to get to grips with that and how the visitors handle the noise, tension and emotion from the stands could well be key.

A win for either side and they will truly believe the title is within grasp, while a draw would favour the other horse in this thrilling of championship races, Chelsea.

Whatever the outcome, this is a match that simply cannot be missed!

Image Copyright – Liverpool FC Twitter – Go On Smile Stevie!

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