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Man City vs Liverpool is not a game for the faint of heart as the blossoming rivalry reaches boiling point ahead of the title decider

PEP GUARDIOLA earlier this week compared the rivalry between Manchester City and Liverpool to “El Clasico” in his native Spain.

And Sunday’s title showdown at the Etihad is as gripping as anything else real Madrid and Barcelona have served in Spain for the last few years.

Manchester City and Liverpool meet in an epic title decider on Sunday

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Manchester City and Liverpool meet in an epic title decider on SundayCredit: GETTY
The Etihad showdown could very well decide who wins the Premier League trophy

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The Etihad showdown could very well decide who wins the Premier League trophyPhoto credit: AFP
And City boss Pep Guardiola recently compared the rivalry between the two sides to El Clasico

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And City boss Pep Guardiola recently compared the rivalry between the two sides to El ClasicoPhoto credit: AFP

Since Pep’s first title win in England in 2017, these two clubs have become the dominant forces in English football.

And the signs are that this could remain the case for many years to come.

This should go a long way in determining whether the trophy will be decorated with blue or red ribbons when it is presented next month.

Which shouldn’t come as a surprise though – it will be one or the other.

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While many approached Chelsea early in the season and some even tipped Manchester United, the form book showed both were underdogs.

After all, the current top-2 have won the last four – City won three of them.

In addition, for the last four seasons city have won 338 points in the top flight – while Jurgen Klopp’s men have picked up 337.

Chelsea have the second most with 264, while Arsenal are almost 100 behind with 241.

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In other words, the top two are miles ahead at the moment – and the rest of the pretenders need to find a way to close the huge gap.

Now what must United fans be thinking as they watch two of their traditional rivals set new benchmarks and records almost every week while their own team struggles desperately for fourth place?

The home side have traditionally ruled this – City’s dismal record at Anfield, stretching back over 30 years, is well documented.

still Liverpool have also struggled at the Etihad – they’ve only won one of their last 12 visits there at the Prem – and that was in 2015.

There was no lack of spice either. For many years the only thing these two had in common was their mutual hatred of United and their feelings for each other were indifferent.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have developed quite a rivalry

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Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have developed quite a rivalryCredit: KEVIN QUIGLEY

But that has changed in the last decade. When City forced their way into the Champions League for the first time in 2011, Liverpool were among the ousted.

They went head to head in a classic title race in 2013/14, with City coming out on top – thanks largely to Steven Gerrard’s slip.

Then there was Raheem Sterling’s controversial move between clubs a year later – when he teased the Kop by citing a desire to win more regular silverware.

But the big moment came when City’s bus was attacked by rival fans as it trundled through the streets ahead of the 2018 Champions League quarter-finals.

As former captain Vincent Kompany said – that moment changed things.

Kompany said, “The rivalry grew and they were our No. 1 rivals. Now there was more tension.”

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It’s gone up a notch since then and when City won the league in 2018/19 the fact they beat Klopp’s men by a single point on the final day made it all the sweeter.

Three years later and here we are again. Sunday at the Etihad is not for the faint of heart.

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/18212190/man-city-liverpool-fever-pitch-title-decider-clasico/ Man City vs Liverpool is not a game for the faint of heart as the blossoming rivalry reaches boiling point ahead of the title decider

Ashley

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