Arsene Wenger has tipped Liverpool to be the favourites when they welcome Manchester City to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
The former Arsenal manager believes that Pep Guardiola not having Aymeric Laporte to select leaves his side significantly weakened and could hand the Reds a boost.
Wenger has predicted that City will take the game to Jurgen Klopp’s side, who will be extremely dangerous on the counter-attack with the away team handicapped with their defensive options.
“I personally feel they could not afford to lose [Aymeric] Laporte, Manchester City.
“If you look at their results, they still play great football but they are a fractionally a bit more vulnerable defensively. And that could be a big handicap against Liverpool.”
Liverpool have had success against City at Anfield in the past, beating them in the Champions League as well as picking up a single point in the 0-0 draw last season.
This could be make or break for both teams on Sunday, despite it only being November. Liverpool go into the game knowing a win would send them nine points clear at the top of the Premier League table, which will be the ultimate motivation. That will also give City a massive boost travelling to Anfield, as they know they can’t afford to be reckless in their pursuit of the Reds. Wenger is right though, Guardiola’s side are significantly weakened in defence, and that is not something you want to see when coming up against Liverpool. On top of that, the Evening Standard have reported on Thursday that Ederson is a doubt for the fixture after picking up a thigh strain in the 1-1 draw against Atalanta on Wednesday, so City could be even weaker behind their defence. All the boxes are being ticked in Liverpool’s favour right now, but they will still need to be at the top of their game to beat the champions, with the Reds’ first-ever Premier League title the ultimate aim.