The Premier League returns after the international break with a high-profile clash between Manchester City and Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Both clubs have designs on winning the title in 2017-18 and have yet to lose a match after three games of the new campaign, winning two games apiece and earning one draw. With current table-toppers Manchester United not playing Stoke City until later on Saturday, a win for either Liverpool or City would put them into first place, at least for a few hours. Read on for a preview of one of the early-season highlights in the Premier League, along with all the latest team news, scheduling information and viewing details. Sky Blues manager Pep Guardiola has yet to get his much-changed squad firing on all cylinders, and they have not looked convincing against Brighton & Hove Albion (a 2-0 win), Everton (a 1-1 draw) or, most recently, Bournemouth, when only a very late Sterling winner earned all three points in a 2-1 victory.
Click here Conversely, after an opening-weekend 3-3 draw against Watford—in which all their long-term defensive concerns were yet again exposed—and a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, Liverpool looked irresistible as they blitzed Arsenal 4-0 last time out. The Gunners were poor at Anfield, especially at the back, but Liverpool were efficient in attack, and their front line of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is good enough to cause even the best teams problems. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will likely set his team up to allow City plenty of the ball and look to hit the hosts on the break, as they did so effectively against Arsenal. Guardiola has more than enough quality in his squad to field a side capable of beating Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium. City will need to step up their performance from their first three matches, though, as they play their first game of the campaign against a side who will likely be a fellow title contender.
A victory over an in-form Liverpool side for City will send out a message to the rest of the division—most significantly the likes of Chelsea, United and Tottenham Hotspur—that they are capable of beating the best sides in the league. Defeat for the hosts on Saturday will not be a huge blow, but it will make for a disappointing start to the season and leave City playing catch-up with the pace-setters, especially if United beat Stoke.