It could be one of the games of the 2020/21 Premier League season as Manchester City take on Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Despite sitting in a lowly 11th place, Pep Guardiola’s side are only five points behind Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, who sit joint top of the table along with Southampton.
A win for either side isn’t likely to be decisive in the title race, but given that the two teams are arguably the best sides in the division, three points will still be considered vital, even at this early stage.
Where City could profit is thanks to Liverpool’s problems in central defence.
Virgil van Dijk is likely to be out for most, if not all of the season, and Fabinho, who Klopp had decided would cover the Dutchman’s absence will also be missing.
That leaves the German with a bit of a conundrum as to who to partner Joe Gomez with, however, former Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher, believes one player stands out above all of Klopp’s other options.
“I think he’ll go with Matip, the big-game experience,” he said to Sky Sports, quoted by the Daily Star.
“He wasn’t shy in putting him straight in against Everton, as well, another tough game for Liverpool away from home.
“The only thing is fitness and playing games, but I don’t think that’s ever really been a problem for Matip because he’s injured so often he’s always in that position where he’s coming back without having had the full training programme or games under his belt or a pre-season because he is very injury prone.
“I actually think Matip has possibly been ready for the last game or two and the manager has almost kept him in reserve for the City game and making sure he’s got two recognised senior centre-backs for that City game.
“I fully expect Matip to play in this game.”
Whether it’s Matip or someone else, they’ll likely have their work cut out against a City side that will be expected to attack relentlessly throughout the 90 minutes.