Billions of pounds of investment from Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi owners over the past decade has reaped three Premier League titles and transformed the blue half of Manchester from “noisy neighbours” into the dominant side in the city.
However, the Premier League champions travel to Liverpool on Sunday hoping to finally achieve something that has so far been beyond City’s cash-rich era — a win at Anfield.
City were last victorious at Anfield in 2003 and have lost 12 of their last 17 visits.
The most recent of those saw City’s Champions League dreams ended for another year in the cauldron of a European night on Merseyside with a 3-0 quarter-final first leg defeat.
A coach not accustomed to losing, City boss Pep Guardiola has been defeated on all three of his visits to Anfield and in Jurgen Klopp faces one of the few managers who can boast a winning record against the Catalan.
Just seven games into the Premier League season, no knockout blow can be landed this weekend.
But with both sides only separated by City’s superior goal difference at the top of the table having dropped just two points each so far this season, the clash will go a long way to telling if Liverpool are capable of knocking Guardiola’s men off their perch.
Liverpool seek to recover title drive ahead of City clash
“It’s very tough, probably the toughest away game of the season in the Premier League,” admitted City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who worked under Klopp for four years at Borussia Dortmund.
While City are seeking to consolidate themselves as the dominant force in English football by becoming the first side in a decade to retain the title, Klopp’s task is to end Liverpool’s near three-decade wait to win the league.
A perfect start of seven straight wins in all competitions has come undone in the past week with defeats to Chelsea and Napoli in the Champions League, either side of a draw with Chelsea on league duty last weekend.
But come Sunday, they can count on the intangibles of Anfield on top of the talent of a bolstered squad and inspirational manager to keep City waiting for a win there and strike first blood in the title race.
Arsenal can cope with hectic schedule, insists Emery
Unai Emery insists Arsenal won’t be allowed to use their hectic schedule as an excuse for a poor performance when they face Fulham on Sunday.
Emery’s side head to Craven Cottage bidding to extend their winning streak to nine matches in all competitions.
But Arsenal will be battling fatigue after touching down in London in the early hours of Friday morning, following a 4,000km flight from Azerbaijan, where they beat Qarabag 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.
It is hardly ideal preparation for an important Premier League clash, but Emery tried to guard against burn-out by resting several players against Qarabag.