Paul Merson states his prediction for Man City v Liverpool FC

The Arsenal legend believes Liverpool FC will secure a 3-1 win against Man City at The Etihad on Thursday night

Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: New Balance

Paul Merson says he would be “shocked” if Manchester City managed to beat Liverpool FC at The Etihad on Thursday night.

The Citizens made a return to winning ways in the Premier League last weekend after Manchester City were 3-1 winners against a resurgent Southampton side on the south coast.

Manchester City lost significant ground on Premier League leaders Liverpool FC in December following defeats by Crystal Palace and Leicester City over the festive schedule.

Pep Guardiola’s side have already lost three times this season after Chelsea FC were 2-0 winners against defending champions Manchester City on 8 December.

Liverpool FC have managed to capitalise on Manchester City’s poor form thanks to seven successive victories over Everton, Burnley, Bournemouth, Manchester United, Wolves, Newcastle United and Arsenal.

The Reds could move 10 points clear of Manchester City if Jurgen Klopp’s men manage to secure back-to-back victories over Guardiola’s men at Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool FC were 3-1 winners against Manchester City in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final last season after a 5-0 loss to the Citizens in the Premier League in September 2017.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson believes Liverpool FC will secure a positive result against Manchester City at The Etihad on Thursday evening.

“This might sound silly, but I’d be shocked if Manchester City won this game. I’d be shocked. I just can’t see how they can stop Liverpool from scoring goals. As the game goes on, I just don’t see how Liverpool don’t go on to win it,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“My only question of Liverpool would be how they play it. Do they go out and think that if they draw they’ve probably taken Manchester City out of the equation? Or do they go for the jugular and win the Premier League on Thursday night?”

Merson continued: “If Liverpool lose the game, it’s majorly game on because it’s about how they react after, too, and they wouldn’t be invincible any more, they wouldn’t be quite as good as they thought they were. But I can’t see them not getting anything.

“City look all over the place at the back. I don’t really see their shape. They’re great on the ball, but they close down quickly for so long and then drop off and if they do that against Liverpool and they get through one line, they’ve got too much pace for City to deal with.

“As the game goes on, City get more open and they’ve struggled with clean sheets recently. Even when they’re 1-0 up and cruising against Southampton, and it’s a walk in the park, Charlie Austin’s through one-on-one and that could change it. They could have had a penalty against them too, I’ve seen lesser penalties given.”

Liverpool FC have a seven-point lead over Manchester City ahead of their top of the table clash on Thursday night.

Merson added that Liverpool FC will be facing a genuine title battle if Manchester City manage to secure a win against Klopp’s side.

“Win the game and go four behind and I think it’s game on, it’s what everyone will be hoping for unless you’re a Liverpool fan,” Klopp added.

“Well, you feel sorry for the Manchester United fans too, what do they want?! Really they needed Tottenham to beat Wolves!”

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