The scene is set, the media and the fans have spoken - this Super Sunday, a day hyped up by a national broadcaster in order to generate interest at home and abroad, two of the Premier League's title challengers take to the field and, such is the importance and significance of this match, the winner will not only be in pole position in the division, but likely march on to claim this year's crown.
Liverpool host Manchester City on Sunday, April 13 at Anfield - a venue they have had no trouble obtaining positive results in, having only lost once yet won 14 times from 16 home games. City, meanwhile, have endured travel sickness - failing to win 50% of their away matches in the division this season and, if there's one ground you do not want to show any signs of a decline in standards, it's on Merseyside - L4 0TH, to be exact.
Even Liverpool's home form against top seven teams has been impressive as they have emerged victorious on every single occasion, scoring 14 and having their defence breached only once. City are also notorious strugglers when it comes to competing against the Reds in front of the Kop. In their last 15 in the Prem, they have lost ten and drawn five times - the last time they won was over a decade ago; May, 2003.
Many of the key players detailed by analysts ahead of this game are worthy of such highlighting.
Luis Suarez has maintained form throughout the season that has surpassed striking efficiency of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Steven Gerrard has enjoyed an inspiring and midfield commanding renaissance under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, while, for City, Yaya Toure has been a rampaging beast capable of executing opponents via dead ball situations, Samir Nasri and David Silva are prolific chance creators while Sergio Aguero has a minutes per goal/assist ratio in the Premier League that is identical to Suarez's - one every 51 minutes.
However, there is one other who could rise to the occasion, who was preserved at the start of the season as he made sporadic appearances and is now in hot form.
That man is Raheem Sterling, a fleet-footed forward who has the arrogance/naivety of youth to not be encumbered by expectancy on the big stage… a positionally versatile attacker who is as comfortable hugging touchlines as he is in the peak of a diamond… an accurate striker of the football who finds the target with 68% of his efforts and a man whose pace and trickery with the ball at his feet acts like a magnet for fouls - he has won a hat-trick of penalties thus far this season.
Against full-backs whose legs may be tired due to cumulative season fatigue after campaigning on so many fronts, a fresh Sterling can cause considerable damage, even against the Citizens - a squad renowned as much for their technical finesse as their physical strengths - as the wonderkid has proven time again that he can ride challenges so effectively that it belies not only his age but also his small stature.
It begs the question… if Sterling proves to be the difference maker then should the event be renamed Super Sterling rather than Super Sunday?
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