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Liverpool vs Man City verdict: Sportsmail’s experts have their say

Liverpool welcome Manchester City to Anfield on Wednesday night for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, in what is promising to be one of the most gripping all-English affairs in European history.  

January’s Premier League clash has only increased the anticipation and another memorable showdown similar to the Reds’ 4-3 victory could be on the cards. 

Three of Sportsmail’s top experts give their opinions on where the match will be one and lost.  


It goes against everything we have seen of Manchester City this season but I can see Liverpool winning this. 

Maybe not over two legs but they certainly have a chance tonight in what should be a special atmosphere at Anfield. Klopp will no doubt stick to his philosophy. He will have his team press high and try to win the ball as close to City’s goal as possible. 

The first line of Liverpool’s attack — Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane — will be their first line of defence. Of course the danger in pressing players like Kevin De Bruyne is that sometimes it can make them even better and make them produce more snappy passing, but we’ll see. 

What we’re in for, hopefully, is an epic battle between two attacking teams.

Pressing a player like Kevin De Bruyne can sometime play better when pressed in possession

This will be a big game for…

Virgil van Dijk. We will finally get to see what is under the bonnet of that Rolls-Royce. City wanted to sign him and he is going to be tested to the absolute limit. It’s a huge night for him. We will really see how good in this tie.

PREDICTION: Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City 


Both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola love having their teams attack and go for the jugular. I cannot see Klopp compromising his tactics and nor should he. 

If there is one team that Manchester City fear it will be Klopp’s Liverpool. They tore them to bits in that sensational 4-3 win in January and I expect it will be equally as explosive at Anfield tonight. 

We know what Liverpool can do offensively but this will be a huge night for them defensively. 

They spent a world record £75million on central defender Virgil van Dijk and these are the nights when you need your big-money men to really stand up and keep things organised — and the Dutchman will need to against such a dangerous City team.

Jurgen Klopp loves to have his side on the attack and is unlikely to compromise his tactics

Jurgen Klopp loves to have his side on the attack and is unlikely to compromise his tactics

This will be a big game for…

Trent Alexander-Arnold. The 19-year-old right back needs to have the game of his life, particularly if he has Leroy Sane to look after. The Champions League is a level where you can get found out. It can be brutal.

PREDICTION: Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City 


When you reach this stage of the competition, the tension that surrounds games doesn’t compare to anything else you will have experienced all season. 

It usually means things are tight and cagey and the odd goal settles it. But the more I have thought about this question, the more I have to say it is going to be a proper shootout. 

The quality both sides have going forward absolutely guarantees entertainment and it is going to be a question of which defence handles the occasion best. 

If Liverpool can limit the goals City score at Anfield, they will have a real chance in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium next week.

If Liverpool and Vrigil van Dijk can limit the goals City score, they'll have a real chance

If Liverpool and Vrigil van Dijk can limit the goals City score, they’ll have a real chance

This will be a big game for…

Liverpool’s defence. I don’t want to single one man out, I’d prefer to say it’s a big task for the whole back five. They’ve got to be on their game and it will be fascinating to see how Loris Karius copes in goal. He’s got to be at his best over the two legs.

PREDICTION: Liverpool 2-1 Manchester City