Head-to-heads where Man City vs Liverpool will be won and lost in title showdown

Premier League champions Liverpool head to Manchester City this afternoon in an early title showdown.

The last two winners of the league meet with all eyes on the Etihad despite the season being just a handful of games old.

Both City and Liverpool have already suffered defeat this season and neither are at the top of the table with Southampton leading the way.

Indeed, Pep Guardiola’s side are already five points behind the Reds though do have a game in hand on their rivals.

And Daily Star Sport have looked at five key battles that could shape today’s clash in Manchester…

Kyle Walker vs Sadio Mane

The City defender is bound to have his work cut out with Mane often a menace down Liverpool’s left.

The Senegal star perhaps doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, with Mohamed Salah regarded ahead of him, but Mane is often the one that pops up in crucial games.

Walker has impressed in recent weeks and Guardiola will need his defender to be on top form.

  • Why Premier League clubs are all slashing Christmas jumpers prices

Raheem Sterling vs Trent Alexander-Arnold

Just like Mane for Liverpool’s left, Sterling is a threat down the same flank for City.

The former Liverpool man often has a point to prove against his old club but he may need to get his defensive boots on too.

Alexander-Arnold loves bombing up the wing and helping the Reds attack so it could be an entertaining tussle between the two.

  • Jamie Carragher has concerns about Joe Gomez’s partner for Man City vs Liverpool

Kevin De Bruyne vs Jordan Henderson

The key battle in midfield will see one of the best passers in the world take on last season’s Footballer of the Year.

Henderson is Liverpool’s captain and drives the Reds forward with his intensity and aggression.

De Bruyne has a different style but the Belgian has the ability to unlock Liverpool’s defence with just one ball.

  • Liverpool tracked Diogo Jota for four years as extensive scouting unearthed talent

Ruben Dias vs Roberto Firmino

This will arguably be the toughest test for City’s newest defender, who will need to be on top of his game to stop Liverpool’s attack.

Firmino is under pressure himself given the form of Diogo Jota and will have a point to prove at the Etihad.

If the Brazilian can get the better of his opponent then Liverpool should get opportunities.

Get the latest transfer news straight into your inbox!

Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?

Well then sign up for the brilliant new Daily Star Sport email newsletter!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.

How do you sign up?

It only takes a matter of seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.

And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.

You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.

Pep Guardiola vs Jurgen Klopp

Perhaps the most important battle of the lot is that between the managers.

Their in-game management will be key depending on the way the match goes, while the way they set their team up to begin with will be crucial.

It’s a fairly even record between the two with Guardiola winning eight of the battles between the two to Klopp’s nine.

This will be the 20th meeting and could go a long way to deciding the destination of this season’s Premier League title.

Source: Read Full Article