It is one of modern football’s great rivalries: Man City vs Liverpool; Pep Guardiola vs Jurgen Klopp. And on Thursday, the North-West adversaries meet for the third time in 2022/23, with the Reds already twice besting the English champions; first in the Community Shield and later in the Premier League.
That pre-season showpiece at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium gave fans of either side the first chance to witness Darwin Nunez and Erling Haaland in action, and it was the former who came out on top in the first instalment of their expected, long-term rivalry. Haaland fired another blank in October’s Premier League meeting at Anfield as Mohamed Salah produced the goods in a 1-0 home win.
The Norwegian sensation will be hoping it’s third time’s a charm against the Reds on Thursday, and he is well-rested having not participated in the World Cup. Liverpool will be hoping to once again defang the free-scoring behemoth, and they’ve come into a recent bit of good form following an inauspicious start to the season.
As the defending EFL Cup champions, Klopp’s heavily-rotated side required penalties to beat Derby in the previous round, but they will be more up for this battle of, not only potential cup progression, but bragging rights as well. Guardiola will have his eyes set on knocking Arsenal off the Premier League summit, but he is a serial winner in this competition, and would no doubt love to add further silverware to his already-immaculate collection.
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Man City vs Liverpool match stats
There are certainly no shortage of goal-hungry forwards heading into this clash of the titans. Erling Haaland, as the Premier League’s current Golden Boot leader, has naturally registered the most shots on target, alongside Harry Kane (28 apiece). Aleksandar Mitrovic comes in next on 22, before Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino (both 20) share the fourth-placed berth in the current standings. Whomever Klopp and Guardiola select in goal can expect a busy night.
Perhaps, quite infuriatingly for Guardiola, of all the managers he has faced at least 10 times, Klopp is the only one he has a negative record against. The City boss has defeated Klopp on just nine occasions compared to the German’s 12 triumphs, four of which came during his time as Borussia Dortmund manager. Guardiola will be looking to bridge that gap and claim his 10th victory against Klopp, but the Reds boss has already got the better of him twice this campaign.
16 Oct 2022 — Liverpool 1-0 Man City — Premier League
30 Jul 2022 — Liverpool 3-1 Man City — Community Shield
16 Apr 2022 — Man City 2-3 Liverpool — FA Cup
10 Apr 2022 — Man City 2-2 Liverpool— Premier League
03 Oct 2021 — Liverpool 2-2 Man City — Premier League
Incredibly, you would have to go back to February 2021 for the last time City beat Liverpool. Twenty two months doesn’t seem like a ridiculously long time, but when you consider City’s dominance on the English scene, it’s quite an achievement from Klopp, who has remained unbeaten in five games during that sequence.