Liverpool will entertain Premier League leaders Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, as the Reds will hope their fine Anfield record will end the visitors' unbeaten run. Last time out, City ran out with a comprehensive 5-0 win, aided by the controversial sending off of Sadio Mane. Though sitting a hefty eighteen points clear of the Merseysiders, Pep Guardiola will be aware Liverpool have the potential to upset the odds. Here is a look at a combined XI of the two high-pitch pressing...
Raheem Sterling had many critics after joining from Liverpool in a big-money move, but, with Guardiola's tutelage, he is at last beginning to live up to potential.
The winger's pace and quick movement has left many defenders in the dust and his finishing has vastly improved. Already with fourteen goals in the league - twice more than last season - Sterling will be crucial player on his return to Anfield.
Sergio Aguero just nudges Roberto Firmino from the team based on a striker's most important duty to the team: scoring goals.
Atletico Madrid forward remains a constant force up front in City's free-scoring side, with thirteen goals to his name. As ever, Aguero remains a fantastic finisher and looks rejuvenated with everyone else upping their game.
A force during his isolation in Italy, Mohamed Salah has returned to the Premier League with a bang.
The Egyptian's pace and directness has greatly aided Liverpool's formidable attacking trident and his importance to Juergen Klopp's ambitions cannot be overstated.
Salah is the league's second top scorer with a massive seventeen goals to his name already, and there is more to come.
Back to his incisive best, David Silva completes the midfield triumvirate for the Sky Blues.
The Spaniard is enjoying a second wind in his career with his passing abilities off the charts and in many ways is the perfect Guardiola player in retaining possession.
Unsurprisingly, Silva has played a key hand in City's success, picking up five goals and eight assists in the league alone.
The human dynamo of the midfield, Fernandinho has been a fantastic acquisition for
Manchester City since arriving in 2013.
The 32-year-old has been adept in linking the defence to the midfield and fits in perfectly in Guardiola's positional play tactics. Moreover, Fernandinho's reliability in screening the back-line allows for attack-minded players to surge forward.
One of the best players in the Premier League, Kevin de Bruyne easily walks into most teams in the world, if not all.
The Belgian strikes fear into the opposition midfield with his fluidity and dynamism on the ball. dept at crossing and key passes, it is little wonder why de Bruyne has twelve assists already on top of eight goals.
Much better than a certain Brazilian who joined
With Alberto Moreno and Benjamin Mendy out injured for a while, Andrew Robertson takes the left-back spot, but not by default.
The Scotsman has been magnificent ever since filling in for the injured Moreno with his marauding runs down the left greatly helping expand play in the final third.
Robertson's positioning is also sound and arrived at Anfield for a fraction of the fee paid for the other defenders in this list.
Completing the centre-back partnership, Nicolas Otamendi fills in after a fine half-season in Pep Guardiola's illustrious side.
The Argentine has proved himself an integral part of the defence in keeping a high line and has improved vastly with respect to tackling and passing.
Like van Dijk, Otamendi makes full use of his height, winning 2.8 aerial duels per match and scoring four goals.
Liverpool made Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender in the world and the Dutchman is abundantly good enough to fit into this XI.
Though missing out much of the season, van Dijk is still an excellent centre-back with the rare ability to martial his teammates into line, as well as having excellent ball-playing skills, while also being a threat in the air - as
Everton recently found out.
That and he's pretty good at defending.
While Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold have showed plenty of endeavour, Kyle Walker is the most suitable choice for the right-back.
The English international has been pivotal to City conceding a mere thirteen league goals, since arriving from Spurs. Walker's pace is electrifying and has improved with respect to passing, averaging 88.5% in the league.
A pretty obvious choice, Ederson is by far the stand-out candidate between the sticks, beating Loris Karius and a not-too-convincing Simon Mignolet to the spot.
Blessed with good reflexes, the Brazilian shot-stopper has continued his fine form from his Benfica days and displayed excellent long-range passing with an overall success rate of 89%.