The players are in the tunnel! The impulse approaches fast. "I'm at Stansted Airport," says Alan McSherry. "It's hard for me to accept that there's no place where I can see this game on the airside." Is it true? If the watchman says so, I know it's true. "Thank you very much for your trust, Alan, but unfortunately I have no idea at all, I once saw a match at Frankfurt Airport, if that helps.
Jürgen Klopp in conversation with Sky:
We've played it so many times and it's always so difficult. But the key moments are that all the opportunities we should create would help a lot. They will have their moments 100%. Make sure we start well, stay well and finish well.
And Virgil van Dijk too:
Well, it's pretty clear that it's a huge game for both teams. We are all looking forward to it. We just have to go out there, enjoy it, give everything we have and do not regret it afterwards.
"I did not survive heart surgery this week, to see a damned draw, "writes Hubert O'Hearn. "I feel surprisingly calm and confident in this game. Every immaterial point on Liverpool and Pep does his thing (thanks, Pep!) To send out an encrypted lineup. The Reds have it. With ease. «Admirable trust. And congratulations on the survival business.
Mo Salah called for the physiotherapist while warming up before the game to deal with some kind of foot problem. I have not heard anything about a team change, so maybe he's fine:
Pep Guardiola has a chat with Sky. He reveals that Rodri is on the team because he seemed to be well-trained (evidently) and that David Silva is on the bench because they both did not want to put them on the grid immediately after an injury, a significant game:
Our plan? Try to win the game. Run if you do not have the ball and play if you have the ball. We will try to do that. They are so strong. We know it. I have said many times that we also needed to be strengthened after winning the Premier League. They will help us for the next two, three, four years so that this club understands the level you need to reach to stay up there as long as possible.
"Certainly, this device can never To live up to the hype, but if it did, it would be beautiful, "writes Mary Waltz. Here is the hope!
Here's the PA media shot in the lists:
Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp was with his proven big-game cast in Manchester City.
That meant four changes since winning the Champions League against Genk. Andy Robertson returned as left-back, Jordan Henderson returned to midfield and Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane returned to the front.
City made six changes when Claudio Bravo started for the injured Ederson. Three of the last four goals from the Champions League draw against Atalanta on Wednesday have been changed.
John Stones was selected to support Fernandinho as a center-back partner with Kyle Walker and Angelino, who just made his second Premier League start. Rodrigo came into midfield, with Sergio Aguero giving preference to Gabriel Jesus.
Andy Hunter talked to Alisson this week. Here is his interview:
Last season we had a great experience, an almost perfect season. We lost a game and this game was against City. We know how big this game is for us. We know how great the game is for everyone – for them and for our fans. In the end, there are only three more important points, but Manchester City has been the league's best team in recent years. So we have to give everything to win this game. We do not want to feel like we felt last season. Second place with just one point means we have to do everything in every game to become Premier League champions. We want it and we will try to do it.
Much more here:
So Ederson is missing, as announced and Claudio Bravo takes his place behind a four-man from Walker-Stones-Fernandinho-Angelino. Otherwise, the teams look completely surprise free.
The team news are here and here are the protagonists of this afternoon:
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane. Subs: Milner, Keita, Gomez, Adrian, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Origi.
Man City: Bravo, Wanderer, Stones, Fernandinho, Jose Angelino, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Aguero, Sterling. Subs: Gabriel Jesus, Silva, Mahrez, Joao Cancelo, Otamendi, Carson, Foden.
Referee: Michael Oliver.
And here are Pep Guardiolas:
I have never gone into a game and felt like an outsider or outsider because I thought I would not win. I will not go to Liverpool by bus because I think I will lose the game. That has never happened in my career. I always try to believe that we have a chance to win if we do the special things that we are going to do.
Much more here:
Here are Barney Ronays Thoughts before the game:
There is also something else in the texture of this low-injury city team. Guardiola loves midfielders, wants to turn the whole world into a midfielder and would ideally just replace the word "midfielder" with the word footballer. Three months after the start of the season, this team has risen to become a midfielder. Seven City midfielders have scored a league goal. Eight city midfielders have started five or more league games compared to three career defenders.
Much more here:
I read a lot before the game. Frankly, tell everyone in the room to leave for about an hour, as you'll be too busy staring at your phone / tablet / other device to interact in a meaningful way. First of all: Mane-Firmino-Salah or Sterling-Aguero-whoever? That is the question:
And welcome to the first leg of the Premier League playoff this season! I'm sure both teams will look forward to a real competition, away from the 36 glorified, irritating friendly matches that make up most of their domestic attention. Whoever wins this game will have an advantage in the second leg, which will be played on the weekend of 4 April. Should it nevertheless come to a defeat, the nine-point deficit city will be overwhelmed. That could be done immaterial.
While we wait for the teams here to make a little trip into the past, there have been in previous games between these teams in Anfield since Pep Guardiola with Jürgen Klopp in England:
Last year's league game ended scoreless thanks to Riad Mahrez's late penalty:
The teams played twice in Anfield in the years 2017-18, with the first 30 games of the undefeated City League ending:
And the second game is a long way to end the Champions League (it was the first leg, but no one gives away a 3-0 lead in the first leg, except of course for Barcelona):
And last but not least, Liverpool's win on New Year's Eve 2016 gave them hope to catch Chelsea, the division's runaway championship leader:
And if that's not enough, try the following: