Liverpool have established a six-point lead at the Premier League summit after only 11 matches. Having lost only one match in the whole of last season, the Reds would surely fancy their chances of a first title in 30 years, if they can extend the early season lead to nine points.

Manchester City, on the other hand, have been in this position before and will not be panicking yet. A win at Anfield would be a surprise for City, having not won there since 2003. But the most important thing for Pep Guardiola’s men is avoiding defeat.

Here are five unexpected heroes who could decide the table-topping battle...

Claudio Bravo

Claudio Bravo

Bravo is expected to play in goal ​due to the injury to Ederson, who suffered a muscular problem in the 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old, who was sent off in the 1-1 draw in Italy mid-week, has left ​City fans feeling the heat and unconvinced by his displays when called upon. Trying to stop Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané is one thing, but the hostile Anfield crowd is another.

However, fans have seen glimpses of Bravo at his best, especially in the Community Shield victory over Liverpool back in the summer. It will be the Chilean's first Premier League appearance since 2017/18. Could he save the day for a depleted City?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

​Voted Standard Chartered Player of the Month by the ​Liverpool fans, the 26-year-old has dazzled since putting his injury setbacks behind him. The midfielder made three appearances during October and was instrumental in each one.

Having helped change the course of the Premier League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford as a second-half substitute, Oxlade-Chamberlain was the catalyst for an important Champions League victory over Genk in Belgium, netting twice, including an exquisite outside-of-the-boot finish, in the 4-1 victory.

Another stunner followed with a goal a week later, lashing in a dipping effort past his former club Arsenal during the Carabao Cup thriller at Anfield, before netting again in the return fixture over Genk at Anfield. He likes to score against City, just as he did in the Champions League in April 2018. Could he have a say in the result on Sunday?

João Cancelo


It was a slow start for Cancelo initially as he played a full 90 minutes just once, against Preston North End in the Carabao Cup, in the whole of August and September, his football mostly limited to substitute appearances.

Since then, Cancelo has learned quickly, playing the full 90 minutes on five out of a possible eight games since the start of October, ousting regular right back Kyle Walker. Not only is the Portugal international good at defending, but he bombs forward too - something which the Reds defence needs to be wary of.

Cancelo will look to reward Guardiola by continuing his fine form at the back. He is yet to score since swapping Serie A for the Premier League but what better place to do so than Anfield?

​Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren

​Klopp has a big decision to make on whether to start Lovren ahead of Joe Gomez, who has had to settle for a place on the bench in the Premier League for the majority of the campaign so far. The Croatia international wasn't even on the bench for the Community Shield back in August, an indication of how far had he tumbled down the defensive pecking order after a 2018/19 campaign primarily spent struggling with injury.

Both AC Milan and Roma were keen, but he stayed put and has kicked on ever since. Injury to Joël Matip and the indifferent form of Gomez saw Lovren start three of the last four Premier League games and he'll be the clear favourite to begin alongside Virgil van Dijk when City come to town.

Lovren almost always seems to play against City. A starter in the last five clashes against Guardiola's side before this season, whilst his best performance for the champions of Europe against them came in the 2-1 victory at the Etihad in the Champions League in April 2018. 

But as always, question marks will still remain on the 30-year-old, who could be the Reds' weak link.

Divock Origi

Divock Origi

Since his Champions League final heroics, ​the Belgium international and Liverpool's 'super sub' has benefitted from regular game-time. Origi has appeared in all bar four games for Liverpool this season - missing three with an ankle problem - and is determined to ensure Klopp has a genuine decision to make when choosing his forward line.

Origi, after scoring twice in the Carabao Cup win over Arsenal last week, is another player Klopp can count on, but also somebody Guardiola and co must be wary of. He’s proving to be an able backup to the front three and considering the Reds' fixture schedule in November, December and January, he will play a key role. 

Right now, he will be expected to make an impact against the Premier League champions, most likely from the bench. That said, when Liverpool go into 'Kloppage time' on Sunday, Origi could be the difference. He has previously netted against city rivals Everton last season late on, so why not against the domestic Champions in front of the Kop?