Why Manchester City-Liverpool is world football’s biggest fixture

When the two titans of English football clash on Sunday at Anfield, the world will be watching.

Manchester City and Liverpool may not be traditional rivals, as both share a disdain for Manchester United, but there will be a truly special atmosphere when the two Premier League giants face off.

The game in itself will prove vital; City’s ability to take four points in the two games against the Reds managed to be the difference as they edged their title rivals by a point in a historic 98-point campaign. However, more than just Premier League implications, this tie represents something more—the two best sides in world football, managed by the two best coaches, battling for control over the biggest domestic league in the world.

Europe’s two best sides often play in the same league. For years, Spain’s El Clásico  had dominated the world scene, winning five straight Champions League titles. Before that, Bayern and Dortmund had played in a Champions League final and AC Milan and Inter were also both atop European football a decade ago.

City and Liverpool now reign as the world’s two best sides, battling each other step for step a year ago. Liverpool recorded the third-best season in Premier League history with 97 points, but City’s 98 came up trumps. The Blues claimed a historic domestic treble, but their rivals won Europe’s most coveted trophy, the Champions League.

In a season where neither side, but especially Liverpool, seemingly never drop points, the importance of this match cannot be understated. Liverpool have not lost in the league to anyone other than City since May 6, 2018. That’s 552 days, and the Reds are unbeaten in 49 of their last 50 league matches, with the exception of that fateful day at the Etihad last January.

This particular match between the two sides doesn’t seem to be a fair fight, with City’s slew of defensive injuries compounded as goalkeeper Ederson will miss the game through a muscular issue. Away at Anfield, I believe it would take a truly special effort for City to down Liverpool and close the gap at the top of the league.

This game will undoubtedly have serious implications on the Premier League title race, but it’s more than that. This is England’s Clásico, and the world will patiently await its first clash between these two juggernauts in what will be a season-defining tilt, even though it is only November.