Manchester City face the biggest test of their title defense so far as they host title rivals Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
After dropping points to Southampton, Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur in 2022, City have seen Liverpool close the gap to just one point ahead of their meeting on Sunday. A win for City would extend their gap to four points, but defeat will see the Reds overtake Pep Guardiola’s side by two points.
City will have to be at their best, with in-form Liverpool having a fully-fit squad to pick from. But, recent results lean in City’s favor with it being over six years since Liverpool last won at the Etihad in the league.
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Ruben Dias remains the biggest absentee for City, with Guardiola not keen to rush the defender back from injury. Apart from Dias and youngster Cole Palmer, City have a fully-fit squad available for selection.
So, what line-ups will both teams select and what could the final score be? We used FIFA 22 to get a score prediction for Man City vs Liverpool on Saturday and this is what happened.
Man City vs Liverpool score predicted by simulation
We used kick-off mode in FIFA 22, but didn’t select a team to control, we then selected the teams and watched the match play out by itself, to give us a score prediction.
We predict that City could set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with their line-up as follows: Edison; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri, Silva; Sterling, Foden, Grealish.
We predict that Liverpool could set up in a 4-3-3 formation, with their line-up as follows: Allison; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mane.
The game started as expected, with both sides playing some excellent football. But it was Liverpool who had the better chances in the opening stages and they took the lead after 20 minutes when Mohamed Salah tapped home the opener.
Sadio Mane found Diogo Jota unmarked inside the box, and the striker snatched at his shot, allowing Ederson to palm his effort away from goal. Luckily for Liverpool, Salah was on alert, and the Egyptian forward was the quickest to react to the loose ball, beating Cancelo to the rebound and tapping into an empty net.
The goal appeared to boost City and the home side responded well. Not long after Salah’s opener, City found themselves level through Bernardo Silva. The midfielder picked up the ball just outside the box and managed to swerve in and out of challenges in the Liverpool box. When the Portuguese international had a sight of goal, he drilled a shot across Alisson and into the far corner, sending both sides into the break all square.
City came out the stronger team in the second half, and Silva grabbed his second of the afternoon to make it 2-1. Kyle Walker played a give-and-go with Sterling on the right before finding De Bruyne in the box, and the Belgian fizzed a cross to Silva in the box for the midfielder to blast past Alisson.
As the game approached the final 15 minutes, James Milner, Luis Diaz and Naby Keita were all introduced by Klopp to try and tilt the game into Liverpool’s favour. Some fantastic pressing from Diaz in the City half forced John Stones into an error, leading to the Reds’ equalizer. Stones was forced into running towards his own goal as he was pressed by Diaz and Mane, and their pressure forced the defender into a mistake, allowing Diaz to charge towards goal. The Colombian approached the byline and pulled a cross back into the box, and Keita was on hand to sweep the ball into the far corner for the equaliser.
Just as Liverpool had the momentum, Klopp’s side were reduced to 10 men as Trent Alexander-Arnold was sent-off. The defender lunged into a challenge on Phil Foden and caught the forward, leaving the referee with no option but to dismiss the 23-year-old.
With the away side down to 10 men, City were having long periods of possession, but Liverpool were always a threat on the counter. And so it proved, with Klopp’s side winning the ball back in the center circle and charging forward, earning themselves a corner. City cleared the resulting set-piece but only as far as Andrew Robertson, and the defender was able to find Fabinho in the box to hand the away side a late lead.
But City weren’t done yet. Rodri was the man who made the tackle that set off the City attack, and he was also the man who finished the move off. De Bruyne charged forward down the left and his cross into the box was met by the bursting run of Rodri who tapped past Alisson from close range.
Another twist saw Liverpool look set to go through on goal in the 94th minute when a long ball from Fabinho was chased down by Diaz, but a cynical challenge from Aymeric Laporte stopped the Colombian, resulting in a red card for the defender who was adjudged to have stopped a clear goalscoring opportunity. The resulting free-kick led to nothing, and the points were shared.
FIFA 22 predicted final score: Man City 3-3 Liverpool
Here are the full-time match stats.
FIFA 22 predicts that a thrilling encounter could see six goals scored and two red cards on Sunday, but neither side could find a winner as the points were shared in the simulation with a 3-3 draw. A late equalizer from City saw the home side claw back a vital point, meaning Guardiola’s side would remain a point ahead of the Reds.
What do you think the score will be? Let us know in the comments below.
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