John Gibbons: Ignore the odds, Liverpool are favourites against Man City

The Anfield Wrap writer is giddy with excitement ahead Sunday’s huge game at the home of The Reds…


As Martin Tyler advertised Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Manchester City during the drab 0-0 draw in West London on Wednesday night, he said “for once, Super Sunday doesn’t do this game justice”.

I’m not sure what Martin would like instead. Sexy Sunday? Stupendous Sunday? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Sunday?

Let’s just say a massive game of football. Liverpool unbeaten in 17 games, Manchester City unbeaten since 2008 (seemingly). The two top scorers in the division going head to head.

Something has to give. Actually, it will probably be a score draw, in which case nothing will have given. But anyway, it’s going to be boss. Rarely are you guaranteed a great game in football, but it feels like this might be it.

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If Liverpool are going to slay they dragon, fell the giant or beat the team three places higher in the league, they will have to do it without Philippe Coutinho who finally got his wish to play for one of the top three teams in the world this week.

Tensions were apparently high in the Coutinho camp as he looked like he might have to play a bit longer for one of the top ten teams in world football, but luckily there was a fairy-tale ending for the millionaire footballer. How nice for it to work out for those guys for once.

So keen was Coutinho to play for the club that he supported since he saw them on TV four years ago, that he is rumoured to put his own money in to make the deal happen.

This might seem farfetched until you remember that four years ago his mate Neymar was scoring goals for fun up front with Lionel Messi and Phil was relying on knock downs from Rickie Lambert.

No wonder he started to put money in his piggy bank to get him to the Nou Camp. Of course rumours that it was actually a sports brand who paid the £9m, or that it is all a big swizz to get round FFP are, I am sure, just filthy gossip. It is much more likely that an elite level footballer is prepared to effectively work for the first year and a half for free.

Sorry, where was I, Manchester City. They are really good at football. But it does feel like Liverpool have a better chance than anyone of beating them. Mainly because we will have a go at attacking them and Manchester City might not like that.

Burnley got right in amongst them in the FA Cup and deserved a half time lead. Admittedly they then went on to get beat 4-1, but we’ll forget about that. Bristol City played some football too and they went in at half time 1-0 up too. Admittedly they then went on to get beat 2-1 but…oh forget it.

The extra game midweek for Manchester City should help Liverpool, at least, with many of the expected starting line up on Sunday playing 90 minutes.

They’ll also play a high line which will help Mané and especially Salah.

Mo Salah had loads of joy at the Etihad, he just hadn’t figured out he was best goalscorer in the world at that point. It is very unlikely City will find him in such generous mood this time and John Stones’ current poor form will have Salah licking his lips.

If you add all that to a hopefully brilliant atmosphere and the fact that Raheem Sterling is certain to be rubbish against us again, we are basically favourites.

If that reads like a man trying to convince himself that Liverpool are going to win on Sunday, you’d be right. But, it would have been interesting to know what would have happened at the Etihad had Sadio Mané not been the only player in Premier League history to get sent off for a high boot.

Sunday, we will see. Come on City, you’ve basically won the league title. Let us have this one. We’ve had a sad week.

Well knocking Everton on the FA Cup aside. That was good, wasn’t it?

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