Aguero on song and other key talking points ahead of Liverpool vs Man City

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Pep Guardiola hasn't won at Anfield as Man City manager.

Perhaps the biggest threat left to Manchester City‘s hopes of an unbeaten season will come on Sunday as they travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool.

Here are five talking points leading into the game.

CAN LIVERPOOL END CITY’S UNBEATEN RUN?

Pep Guardiola‘s City have not lost domestically all season and were last beaten in the Premier League on April 5, a run of 30 games.

Liverpool’s recent form suggests they have a better chance than most sides of late of ending that sequence.

With their much-vaunted attack and high-pressing game, the Reds are unlikely to sit back and that could make for a compelling encounter.

Liverpool may be warned, however. The last team to really try to get after City was Tottenham on December 16, and they were swatted aside 4-1.

Liverpool also fared badly last time the sides met – losing 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in September – but City have not won at Anfield since 2003.

City could punish Liverpool if the home side are too eager in attack.

STERLING’S ANFIELD RETURN

Since leaving Liverpool in 2015, Raheem Sterling has enjoyed little good fortune against his old club.

He was booed and substituted at half-time on a quiet first return to Anfield in March 2016 while he was also ineffective in that year’s League Cup final.

This time the 23-year-old will hope things will be different as he goes back to his old stomping ground in the best form of his career.

With just over half of the season gone, Sterling already has 18 goals to his name this term – seven more than his previous best return.

The Anfield boo-boys will be out in full force for Sterling.

AGUERO ON SONG

Sergio Aguero appears to be coming back into form at an important time for City with Gabriel Jesus out injured.

Perhaps he is being spurred on by persistent speculation linking the club with Arsenal‘s Alexis Sanchez.

The Argentinian, who was being criticised as recently as Christmas for lacking sharpness, has scored four in his last three games and now has 19 for a season in which he became City’s record goalscorer.

He has scored six times in 14 games against Liverpool.

Aguero loves playing against Liverpool.

VAN DIJK LEAGUE DEBUT

Liverpool’s £75million man Virgil van Dijk is poised to make his Premier League debut for the Reds.

His impact has already been impressive, with a debut winner against Everton in the FA Cup.

The Dutchman brings leadership, composure and greater defensive ability to to side badly short in those areas. Liverpool look stronger for his arrival.

Van Dijk has already made his mark in Liverpool colours.

COUTINHO GONE

The game will be Liverpool’s first since the £142million sale of star playmaker Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

His departure will leave a hole but Jurgen Klopp is not short of other attacking options with Adam Lallana now fit again and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looking to step up.

The game will offer clues as to whether the Merseysiders can move on seamlessly.

How much will Liverpool miss Coutinho?

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Ilkay Gundogan: Pep Guardiola is the reason I picked Manchester City over Liverpool

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Gundogan has thrived at City under Guardiola.

Endorsements don’t get much bigger than being courted by both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp. Especially when you’re in the midst of recovering from an injury.

Ilkay Gundogan has spent quite a few spells of his career recovering on the treatment table, but there’s been no doubting his talent. Klopp was the man who first spotted it, signing his fellow German for Borussia Dortmund in 2011 from Nuremberg, and the midfielder was instrumental in Klopp’s two title-winning seasons at Dortmund. So it was no surprise in 2016 when Klopp, now at Liverpool, tried to bring Gundogan to Anfield.

But the lure of Guardiola and Manchester City proved too much.

“I spoke with Jurgen about different things,” Gundogan said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail. “He always liked me as a player and I would be a liar if I said he didn’t try.”

“But when I had the opportunity to join City and work with Pep, it was quite clear that I wanted to come here. When I was a little bit down because of my injury, he was quite sure he was still going to try to buy me. That showed me it could never be the wrong decision to join this club.

“They are both great managers, great characters and very ambitious. I’ve been lucky.”

Klopp and Gundogan are set to be reunited on Sunday, albeit on opposite sides as the Premier League-leading City take on Liverpool at Anfield, a venue where City haven’t won in nearly 15 years. But with the Manchester side having yet to lose a Premier League game this season, this visit will be different than others.

“It could be a big moment for us,” Gundogan said. “Anfield is one of the hardest stages in the world and on good days Liverpool are able to beat any team in the world.

“It’s more exciting for everyone when you have two top teams who try to attack and try to create chances.

“I can imagine it’s not attractive for the spectators when we play teams with 10 players around their own box, just defending and hoping for a set-piece or throw-in, anything.

“We need to be ready to show the same spirit as we did away at Chelsea and Manchester United. We have beaten all the big teams until now and we want to continue on Sunday.”

With a 15-point lead in the Premier League, one foot in the final of the Carabao Cup, a status as one of the contenders for the Champions League and among the favourites for the FA Cup, there has been talk of an unprecedented Quadruple, along with matching the feat of Arsenal’s Invincibles squad by going through the entire league season unbeaten. But Gundogan isn’t taking anything for granted.

“It’s difficult,” the 27-year-old added.

“If I say ‘yes’ now, I would disagree with the manager, and that wouldn’t be so smart!”

“We have a lot of games to go, and a lot of hurdles to take, but everything is possible. We are in a comfortable situation and enjoy being on top. Having that gap also gives us confidence. This season is special as we are winning and winning and winning. We will try to go all the way. Maybe we will lose one day and maybe we won’t.

“We always feel safe. In games where we don’t score many goals, we still feel quite sure we won’t concede much. And in games where we concede one or two, we feel we can score a lot more.

“At this point, it just fits automatically. It’s just there. We don’t think about it much. On the field, everyone knows exactly what we need to do. Sometimes it’s strange.

“I have never felt at any time this season there is a safe first XI, just players who play more and some who play less. There is even more potential in this team.

“We didn’t play badly last season but it was more up and down. This season, we are just on a wave and it’s very hard to get us off this wave.”

On Sunday, that wave could carry them to a rare Anfield victory.

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