See the key battles ahead of huge Liverpool v Man City clash in Premier League

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Something will have to give on Sunday when Liverpool host Manchester City in an intriguing clash at the top of the Premier League.

Both sides boast unbeaten top-flight starts to 2018/19, plus sit level on 19 points.

With a host of the game’s best players led by two elite managers, this should be a match to savour.

Watch the key battles below:

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Bernardo Silva warns Man City that Liverpool are even better than last season

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Bernardo Silva has warned that Liverpool are now a better side than when they beat champions Manchester City three times last season.

City and Liverpool – the top two sides in the Premier League, who are both still unbeaten – face each other in an early-season blockbuster at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool inflicted one of only two defeats suffered by City in their otherwise relentless march to the title last term and they also beat them twice in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Since then the Reds have strengthened significantly and they look like genuine title contenders themselves this season.

City midfielder Silva said: “They bought a few players. I think they’re better this season, as the results tell. They’ve won all their games in the Premier League apart from one.

“They’re an aggressive team, they’re doing well. We beat them at home last season but at Anfield we weren’t able to play well enough to beat them. They were better than us, in my opinion.

“But we’ll try again, knowing that they have a very good squad but we will go with 100 per cent, so we can try to get the three points. We hope we can finish that (unbeaten) run.”


The game pits two of the game’s most dynamic and inspirational managers against each in City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp.

The pair’s fierce but amicable rivalry stretches back to 2013 when Guardiola was in charge at Bayern Munich and Klopp was at Borussia Dortmund. With eight wins from 14 meetings and just five defeats, Klopp boasts a record against Guardiola that is the envy of many other managers.

Guardiola’s haul of silverware does dwarf that of Klopp – with 27 major trophies compared to the German’s five – but the City boss has considerable respect for his Liverpool counterpart.

Guardiola said: “I don’t play against Jurgen, I try to win against Liverpool. That is the point but if he won it’s because he’s an excellent manager.

“I have a lot of respect for the way they play, how proactive are his teams are.

“They are a top team, especially since Jurgen took over and especially in the last period. He has a lot of weapons to attack you and they are masters in taking advantage of your mistakes.

“The three guys in front connect really well and it’s a top side.”

Guardiola said on Friday playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, out since August with a knee injury, would be assessed ahead of the game. The Belgian was expected to be out for three months but returned to training earlier this week.

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Chris Hughton praises his side for Brighton keeping it clean against West Ham

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Chris Hughton hailed his Brighton team for finally securing their first clean sheet of the season in their 1-0 victory over West Ham.

Glenn Murray’s 99th goal for the club gave Brighton the lead at half-time, but it was their organised and resilient defending – on the same day centre-backs Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy signed new five-year contracts – that gave Hughton the most satisfaction as they climbed to 12th in the Premier League.

Heading into the international break, Hughton’s team have a total of eight points from eight fixtures in which Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham have been among their opposition, and the Brighton manager said: “The clean sheet’s really important for us.

“We spoke a lot about the start of the season we’ve had – we’ve had to play four of the big teams – but it’s no good speaking that way if you’re not able to capitalise on some of the games that are against very, very good opposition, but not top-six opposition. That showed.

“We were up against a really good West Ham side and you can see them scoring a lot of goals this season. We did the defensive things well and had to ride our luck a bit but the clean sheet was very pleasing.

“(Duffy and Dunk) deserve (their contracts) for what they’ve given this football club and will continue to give.”

Asked if 35-year-old Murray should be in contention for an England call-up, Hughton said: “All I can speak about is what Glenn gives us. For somebody at this stage of the season to have scored five goals in the Premier League for this club is a big achievement.

“Gareth’s done a wonderful job with the England team and he’ll make any decisions on the way that he wants to go.

“Glenn has always had the knack of being in the right place at the right time – he’s a player who has looked after himself really well and that enables him not only to get the goals but to have an impact on the overall game.”

The defeat was 15th-placed West Ham’s fifth from eight games, and ends the encouraging run that included last week’s 3-1 victory over Manchester United and leaves them at risk at falling to 17th by the weekend’s conclusion.

They were also perhaps fortunate that Jurgen Locadia’s late finish was ruled offside, but their manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “We made important mistakes in their goal, but we had chances.

“Maybe in the first 45 minutes they played with more intensity in the way they recovered the ball. But the last 45 minutes we had the pace, we had the football; they didn’t have one chance.

“We must continue working the same way because the way we played the last 45 minutes was encouraging.

“I’m more frustrated that we finished the game but lost 1-0 after creating three very clear chances, at least, to score. That’s why I cannot be happy.”

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