Manchester or Merseyside?
This Super Sunday is quite different because the four clubs involved are from opposite ends of the M62.
Manchester City hop over to Goodison Park to face a shaky Everton side in the Lunchtime clash. Liverpool on the other hand trek across to Old Trafford to take on Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Which city will emerge victorious or will the spoils be shared?
Everton vs Manchester City (1:30pm, Sky Sports 1)
The action kicks off with the blue sides going head to head at Everton. Toffees manager, Ronald Koeman won’t be getting sticky trouble choosing his squad after Aaron Lennon returned from his injury.
Ademola Lookman and Morgan Schneiderlin are set to make their home debuts at Goodison Park. Maarten Stekelenburg and James McCarthy will face late fitness tests as they look to return to the match day line up.
The visitors are however without Fernandinho who’s still serving his suspension. New signing, Gabriel Jesus isn’t eligible to make his debut due to paperwork issues with the FA so will likely have to wait till next Saturday before making his first appearance as a Citizen.
Captain, Vincent Kompany and Leroy Sane are both back in the squad but Fernando is set to face a late fitness test. Pep Guardiola will be delighted to have his first choice captain back because City have won more games with Kompany in the team than without.
Picking up the three points will represent massive moments in the league table for both clubs.
Victory for the home side will see them move away from the chasing pack and start to hunt down Manchester United in sixth place. Failure to do so means they will need to reply on the winners of both the League and FA cups qualifying for the Champions League, if they are to achieve European football next season.
For Man City, victory will send them third but behind Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference. They would also be seven points off leaders, Chelsea. Could the title battle be on now that Kompany is back?
Overall, both teams will be wanting to claim the advantage before the Red teams do battle at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’. The Sky Blues will have that little bit more in their locker to leave Merseyside with full points based on recent form.
Prediction: Everton 1-2 Manchester City
Result: Everton 4-0 Manchester City
Manchester United vs Liverpool (4:00pm, SS1)
After the battle of the Blues, attention turns to the mighty red teams of both cities as Manchester United and Liverpool face off at Old Trafford in the title race.
The Red Devils will have Zlatan Ibrahimović back from illness. Marcus Rojo will return from injury but Eric Bailly is at the African Cup of Nations (ACoN).
Liverpool are expected to have Phillippe Coutinho starting his first league game in nearly two months. Jordan Henderson has recovered sufficiently from their injuries and could feature in the line up. Striker, Sadio Mane is away at the ACoN.
The atmosphere is going to be interesting after United fans put in a poor showing against Hull during the first leg of their League Cup semi final. If the crowd are flat then this could strengthen the opposition because when Liverpool are on attacking form, they are tough to stop.
This match has a few ifs surrounding it. For starters, will Jurgen Klopp field a weakened team ahead of their FA Cup third round replay at Plymouth on Wednesday? Could we see Wayne Rooney smash Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals for the red side of Manchester?
Klopp however has the better head to head record over Jose Mourinho with 3 wins to the Portuguese’s one. Meetings involving both managers have only seen two draws. With Klopp’s red team having not scored in their last two outings across all competitions, could we see a tight match with no goals?
Either way, it is going to be energetic regardless of the crowd’s attitude.
Prediction: Manchester United 0-0 Liverpool
Result: Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool