Statistics have revealed that Manchester City and Liverpool both picked up the same number of Premier League points in 2018, with the former topping the year's league table on goal difference.

The Citizens strolled to the league title last season, as Pep Guardiola's swashbuckling brand of football saw the club bulldoze their way past the opposition to a 100-point-grabbing triumph. This season, however, there's a new sheriff in town, with Jürgen Klopp's gunslinging Reds galavanting to the top of the table - where they currently sit seven points ahead of City.

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According to data provided Opta, the two Premier League titans have matched each other over the course of the year, with the Citizens edging their rivals by six on goal difference. In total, Guardiola's side netted on 99 occasions in 2018, to Liverpool's 84. However - and who'd have believed this last year - the Reds have conceded fewer; 22 to City's 31.

With big money behemoth Virgil van Dijk operating as a solid granite blockade at the heart of Liverpool's defence, they've only conceded eight goals in 20 matches this season. The transformation in the Reds' play has been exceptional, with Klopp transforming from a heart-over-head, tactically naive operator into a shrewd, calculating football wizard.

Position

Team

Points

1st

Manchester City

88

2nd

Liverpool

88

3rd

Tottenham Hotspur

85

4th

Manchester United

72

5th

Chelsea

68

6th

Arsenal

63

7th

West Ham United

51

8th

Bournemouth

50

9th

Everton

49

10th

Leicester City

48

11th

Crystal Palace

44

12th

Watford

44

13th

Newcastle United

43

14th

Brighton & Hove Albion

43

15th

Burnley

35

16th

Southampton

31

17th

Wolverhampton Wanderers

29

18th

Huddersfield Town

23

19th

Cardiff City

18

20th

Swansea City

17

21st

West Bromwich Albion

15

22nd

Fulham

14

23rd

Stoke City

13

Conversely, City have already managed to exceed their number of losses (2) from last season, succumbing to three defeats in quick succession in the 2018/19 campaign. Thursday's crunch clash between the two sides will no doubt be a landmark moment in the season, and an ideal way to kick off 2019.

In other news, City are believed to be sweating over the fitness of Fernandinho ahead of Thursday's big game, after the veteran midfielder was scythed down by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in Sunday's 3-1 win over Southampton. The 33-year-old had only just recovered from injury, and is now a doubt for the massive match at the Etihad Stadium.