Liverpool are the reigning champions and at the moment prime the Premier League desk this time period – however membership legend Mark Lawrenson is tipping them for a uncommon defeat towards Manchester Metropolis.
Metropolis completed runners-up to the Reds in 2019-20 and 5 factors behind them to this point in 2020-21, albeit with a sport in hand.
The 2 sides go head-to-head on the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (4.30pm).
Neither group has been totally convincing of late and each have been hampered by damage issues.
BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is breaking the behavior of a lifetime by predicting his outdated group will lose.
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“I do know I by no means often tip Liverpool to lose however I simply really feel like it’s a huge sport for each defences and this time it’s the Reds who’ve the uncertainty on the again,” he stated.
“Liverpool centre-half Joe Gomez has began every of the previous three video games with a distinct associate and supervisor Jurgen Klopp would possibly change issues round once more on the again.”
Predicting a 2-Zero win for Metropolis, Lawrenson added: “Liverpool boss Klopp has obtained selections to make in defence and assault.
“Up entrance, I’m an enormous fan of Roberto Firmino and what he does for the group however Diogo Jota has obtained the identical work ethic and is scoring objectives too – he’s on fireplace for the time being.
“On the again, if Joel Matip is match I might pair him with Joe Gomez. Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have completed properly – towards West Ham and Atalanta respectively – however it is a very totally different sport, with much more strain concerned and towards a a lot better aspect.
“Whoever Klopp goes with, it’s not time for them to be going to the Etihad whereas they’re attempting to construct a brand new partnership as a result of any mistake they make will likely be pounced upon.
“That is why I’m going for Metropolis to win. Liverpool are going into this spherical of fixtures on prime of the desk so there is no such thing as a suggestion they’re struggling – it’s simply they don’t seem to be at their best for the time being.
Manchester Metropolis are making ready to tackle Liverpool within the greatest match of the season to this point.
Pep Guardiola’s males are determined to regain the Premier League title, however the champions are already again on prime of the desk, and Sunday’s crunch on the Etihad Stadium – even so early within the season – is essential to their probabilities of difficult for the crown.
Metropolis lie 5 factors behind the Merseysiders within the desk, however have a sport in hand, so three factors on Sunday may see them really again within the race.
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“They’ll lose video games and the title race goes to be tighter than final 12 months, I’ve no doubts about that.
“Liverpool will nonetheless trigger Metropolis issues on Sunday too, although. Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias have seemed strong on the again to this point, however they have not been correctly examined but.
“That may occur right here – and it not simply concerning the two centre-backs, it’s the complete again 4 who get a exercise once you play Liverpool. They arrive at you from all angles and if there’s a weak point, they sniff it out.”
Amazon Prime Video Sport stated in a Twitter submit that Lawrenson had not predicted a Liverpool loss because the 2015/16 season – a run of 159 video games!
And quite a bit has occurred since then …