"It will be between one of Liverpool and City".
"I'm not talking about that player playing every week". It's part of football - sometimes you score, sometimes you miss.
And now Merson has made the breathtaking analysis that Liverpool would have taken this position if they were offered it at the start of the season. You can watch all the action Live & Exclusive via beIN SPORTS Connect.
Perhaps that is something of a disappointment for Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool fans; they swept City aside three times last season, and this term, they need a statement win to announce themselves as title challengers. "In that situation they are much better than us".
It resulted in the first goalless draw between these two at Anfield since 1986 - and also City's first clean sheet at the ground since then - but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be celebrating Monday's third anniversary at the club as the happier manager.
On the other hand, Liverpool are third behind Manchester City and Chelsea on the Premier League table but have the same points as the other two teams.
In team news, Naby Keita is the only doubt for the Reds. If you want to see fresher, give them a summer break - for Jordan Henderson, it was exactly two weeks, which is amusing.
Ahead of the game, Klopp tried to play down Mohamed Salah's slump in form after an incredible 44-goal debut season at Anfield.
It has become something of an insult in the modern game to accuse a team of "parking the bus" when they emerge with their goal unbreached and intact.
Liverpool - Pep Guardiola took responsibility for placing his trust in Riyad Mahrez as the Algerian's missed penalty five minutes from time cost Manchester City victory in a disappointing 0-0 draw at Liverpool on Sunday.
Raheem Sterling will be relishing his return to Anfield, and the England attacker is likely to be handed a starting role on Sunday evening. The former FC Barcelona gaffer said, "Salah is younger, it was his first year back in England since his time at Chelsea, so we will see in the future, but a guy who has the quality to score almost 50 goals in a season always has that quality". Benjamin Mendy is also fit for the game, and the return of the French worldwide is another positive for Pep to ponder in his team selection.