For a fixture that initially felt like it was coming too early in the season, the mood around both Manchester City and Liverpool is that today couldn’t have come sooner.
That is how much is weighing on this match. That is how portentous and tense the build-up has been. That is how raring to go an energised Liverpool are. That is how much a defiant City want to make a point.
And it is for those reasons that this might actually be a perfect time for such a title showdown. That has created a genuinely unique context, and only added to the sense of consequence about this game.
If Liverpool win, they will be a massive 10 points clear of the champions and know they are within touching distance of the title they have waited so long for. Their relentless winning, and fact they will have also won at the champions, will further foster the feeling that they won’t drop enough points in the remaining 17 games for anyone else to come in. The aura will only grow with the confidence. Read more