City aim to end Anfield drought

LONDON • Manchester City, who are six points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool (31), are conscious that a defeat on Merseyside tomorrow would leave their hopes of a third consecutive league title in jeopardy.

Yet Fernandinho believes they can reverse recent history and end a run of 16 years without a win at Anfield, with their last victory coming in May 2003.

Ahead of City's trip, the Brazil international said: "There's always a first time in the life, no? We are searching for this first time to win (in a long time) at Anfield.

"I am confident we can go there and try to win the game. The mentality is always try to win the game.

"Of course, we will see with Ederson's situation. We are going to train and the medical staff are going to check him and we are going to see if he will be fit."

While the goalkeeper had to be replaced at half-time of their 1-1 Champions League draw at Atalanta on Wednesday, City will have to cope without the 26-year-old Brazilian who will not recover in time from his thigh muscle injury.

Off the pitch, Pep Guardiola's players are fearing a repeat of a bus attack. City are concerned their coach could be attacked by Liverpool fans, as it was in April last year before their Champions League quarter-final tie when bottles, cans and flares were thrown.

Although no players or staff were injured, the vehicle was left unsafe to drive and the club have sought assurances from Liverpool of a safe passage to Anfield for the potentially pivotal title match.

The champions have also flagged up a social media post asking Reds fans to line the potential route of City's team coach.

The post in question, headlined Liverpool v Man City, asked supporters to "bring your pyro(technics), pints, flags and banners" and "line the streets all the way up Anfield Road and to the ground".

While the clubs are in constant dialogue in the build-up to the game - as is normal practice - it is understood the problem has been raised at executive level by City.

They expect it to be taken seriously and want a guarantee from Liverpool there will be no repeat of the scenes of 18 months ago.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2019, with the headline 'City aim to end Anfield drought'. Print Edition | Subscribe