The Citizens simply have to beat Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium

Pep Guardiola
Photo: Thomas Rodenbücher, CC

The festive period of football has created a situation that not many would have envisaged two weeks ago.

Liverpool have somehow got themselves seven points clear of second place Manchester City.

With Liverpool looking in relentless form, it is hard to see anybody stopping the Reds from ending their long wait for a Premier League title.

A season-defining game on Thursday night

However, there is the small matter of Thursday night’s meeting of the two teams at Etihad Stadium. It may not decide the destination of the Premier League title, but it could prove highly pivotal in the two team’s respective momentums.

A home win would not only cut the gap in points down to four points but also halt the momentum that the Reds have built up this season in the Premier League. It would also give City hope that they can catch Jurgen Klopp’s side this season.

City’s walking wounded have returned

A couple of injuries should not majorly harm a squad the size and quality of Manchester City’s. However, even the best team misses key players, with the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne missing games in recent weeks for the English champions.

The quartet should be fit enough to feature in Thursday’s big game. Their return to fitness could be the key to any potential recovery for City in the remainder of the campaign.

City need to step up their game

The Citizens have struggled against Liverpool in recent seasons. In fact, the reigning champions have lost three of their last four meetings with the Reds in all competitions. They have also won just one of the previous 11 matches with the Merseysiders in 90 minutes.

If Manchester City are to retain their crown as English champions they have to step up their game. Guardiola’s side needs to beat Liverpool to prove that they are still well and truly in the race for the Premier League title. If not then Liverpool could well run away with the title race.

Who will win Thursday’s big clash at the Etihad Stadium?

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