Title rivals: Previewing Man City vs Man Utd and Forest vs Liverpool

By on February 29, 2024

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

With Arsenal not playing until Monday when we travel to Bramall Lane to take on Sheffield United, I thought I’d take a look at who our title rivals will be playing this weekend. So let’s preview some of the big games we’ll be keeping a close eye on….

Man City vs Man Utd

There is only one place to start and that’s at the Etihad Stadium where Man City will take on Man Utd on Sunday afternoon. The defending champions once again seem to be hitting form at the right time and they’ll be expected to pick up another three points against their North-West rivals this weekend.

City head into the game off the back of a 6-2 win away to Luton Town in the FA Cup. Erling Haaland bagged five goals at Kenilworth Road as the Cityzens ran riot to book their place in the quarter finals. That extended Man City’s unbeaten run to 18 games in all competitions as they haven’t tasted defeat since the 1-0 loss away to Aston Villa in early December. They’ve won 16 and drawn the other 2 of those 18 matches, so City are in formidable form right now.

However, while they are grinding out results in the Premier League, their performances may not have been up to Guardiola’s usual standards. City have only scored three goals in their last three league games. After being held to a 1-1 draw at home by Chelsea, they edged past Brentford and Bournemouth with narrow 1-0 wins and were perhaps fortunate to collect six points from those games.

Guardiola will be hoping they’ve rediscovered their touch in front of goal following the FA Cup rout over Luton as Man City look to keep pace with Liverpool by beating an injury-hit Man Utd side on Sunday afternoon. City currently sit just one point behind the leaders – and one ahead of Arsenal – with all three clubs having played 26 games, so things couldn’t be tighter at the top of the table.

Man Utd also booked their place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup with a last gasp win at Nottingham Forest yesterday. Casemiro scored in the final minute of normal time to secure the win and set-up a tie with Liverpool in the last-8.

It was an important win for Erik ten Hag after United lost at home to Fulham last weekend. That result has left them sitting sixth in the table and eight points off the top four, so United desperately need a positive result at the Etihad on Sunday.

This game is always a special occasion and it’s already a sell-out so we should see a terrific atmosphere. Supporters wanting to be in the stands on Sunday can still buy Man City vs Man Utd tickets via trusted online resellers such as seatsnet.com.

Team news

Manchester City will assess the fitness of Josko Gvardiol as he’s carrying an ankle injury. The defender is back in training so could return to the squad this weekend.

However, Jack Grealish is set to miss out after picking up a groin injury in midweek. Otherwise, Guardiola has a fully-fit squad to choose from and may opt to freshen things up with the likes of Jeremy Doku, Julian Alvarez, Ruben Dias, Rodri, Phil Foden and Ederson pushing for recalls.

As for Man Utd, they have a number of injuries to worry about ahead of the game. Harry Maguire will be assessed after missing the win at Forest while Aaron Wan-Bissaka remains out. Mason Mount is still struggling with a calf injury, Rasmus Hojlund is out with a muscle problem while Anthony Martial is also unavailable due to a groin injury.

Lisandro Martinez is facing a race against time to play again this season after suffering a serious knee injury earlier this month and Luke Shaw is another absentee for United as he’s out with a thigh injury.


On the face of it, Man City should have no problem beating an injury-plagued Man Utd team at home. United will look to sit back and frustrate them for as long as possible, but it’s difficult to see City not scoring as they have so much attacking talent at their disposal. Sadly, I’m predicting a routine home win. Man City 2-0 Man Utd

Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool

Liverpool get the opportunity to draw first blood and extend their lead at the top of the table when they take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds picked up their first piece of silverware this season by beating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final last weekend. Virgil van Dijk scored the winner just two minutes from the end of extra time to ensure Jurgen Klopp will leave Anfield with at least one more trophy under his belt.

The German coach has been forced to turn to his youngsters as Liverpool have several injury problems right now, but the kids did him proud after putting in an excellent display to beat Southampton 3-0 in the FA Cup on Wednesday night.

Klopp will hope to get a few of his key men back for the trip to Forest this weekend as Liverpool look to make it four league wins on the bounce following their 3-1 defeat to Anfield earlier this month.

Nottingham Forest will be hoping to bounce back from their painful late defeat to Man Utd last night. Forest had enough chances to win the game but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net and paid the ultimate price.

They now need to focus on Premier League matters as they are now in a real battle to avoid relegation. Forest lost 4-2 away to Aston Villa last weekend which made it four defeats in their last six league games. That poor form has seen them drop down to 17th in the table and just four points ahead of the relegation zone having played a game more than 18th-placed Luton. Therefore, Forest desperately need a positive result against Liverpool to aid their survival hopes.

Team news

Liverpool will continue to be without Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Stefan Bajcetic and Alisson Becker for the trip to the City Ground this weekend.

Curtis Jones is also out with an ankle injury, Thiago Alcantara is nursing a thigh injury while Ryan Gravenberch is also expected to miss out due to a foot problem. Therefore, Klopp has limited options in midfield. To make matters worse, Wataru Endo is a doubt with an ankle injury and Dominik Szoboszlai also needs to be assessed after missing the last couple of games with a thigh injury.

Liverpool also have concerns in attack as Mohamed Salah is a doubt with a thigh injury and Darwin Nunez needs to be assessed due to a muscle injury that’s kept him out recently.

For Forest, they also have injury issues as Nuno Tavares, Chris Wood, Olaoluwa Aina, Ibrahim Sangare and Willy Boly are all missing this weekend.


Forest need something from this game to put some distance between themselves and the drop zone and they could be quietly confident against an injury-hit Liverpool team. If Klopp is forced to play the kids again then I can see this being a draw. However, I think we’ll see the likes of Salah, Endo and Szoboszlai return to boost their squad which should give them enough to edge things at the City Ground. Forest 1-2 Liverpool

Therefore, unfortunately for Arsenal, I think we’ll see both City and Liverpool pick up wins which will put the pressure on us to beat Sheffield United on Monday night. Elsewhere, Aston Villa take on Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Saturday evening while fifth-placed Tottenham host Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.