The two Premier League clubs had contrasting fortunes in the Champions League in the build up to the top of the table clash on Merseyside this weekend.
Manchester City were 2-1 winners against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim thanks to David Silva’s late winner to secure their first three points of the season in the Champions League.
There was also a late goal in Liverpool FC’s second Champions League group-stage fixture but it was Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne who scored an 88th minute winner to deliver a blow to the Reds.
Liverpool FC have scored two goals and conceded four times in their last three outings against Chelsea FC and Napoli to raise questions about the Merseyside outfit’s current form.
Mohamed Salah scored 43 times in all competitions last season but the reigning PFA player of the year has made a slow start to the campaign.
Former Arsenal star Merson believes Manchester City are slight favourites to beat Liverpool FC at Anfield in the Premier League on Sunday evening.
“I’m slightly favouring Manchester City. For me, it looks like hard work for Liverpool at the moment,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Last week they had a great game against Chelsea but I think it took its toll on Jurgen Klopp’s team. Their pressing from the front looks like hard work whereas last year it looked natural. I think they are going to fall asleep a couple of times during the game for City to punish them.”
Merson added: “The pressure will be on City though. If Liverpool can pick up a win they’ll be serious contenders for the title. However, a win for City and I think they’ll run away with it again. The big difference is that certain Liverpool players have to play all the time and that will take its toll.”
Liverpool FC suffered a blow in Naples after summer signing Naby Keita suffered a back problem in the 19th minute of their 1-0 loss to Napoli in the Champions League.
Manchester City were handed a boost this week after Kevin De Bruyne made a return to first-team training but the Belgium international is set to miss their trip to Anfield.
The defending Premier League champions have only dropped points in a 1-1 draw with promoted side Wolverhampton Wanderers in August.
Liverpool FC won their opening six Premier League games before Daniel Sturridge netted a late equaliser to cancel out Eden Hazard’s opener in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea FC.
The Sky Sports pundit believes Liverpool FC will suffer a Champions League hangover against the Citizens.
“That’s the reason why I think City will have the edge,” Merson continued.
“It’s at Anfield and the Liverpool fans are as good as anybody else’s fans, but I just think the last couple of games will have taken something out of Liverpool.”
Jurgen Klopp’s side can take confidence from their recent record against Manchester City after three successive victories that saw Liverpool FC scored nine goals.
In fact, Manchester City haven’t won at Anfield since Nicolas Anelka scored a late winner against his former club in 2002.
Liverpool FC are in second place in the Premier League table but level on points with defending champions Manchester City.
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