There are five fixtures this Sunday to look forward to, but the one that’s worth getting excited for is Liverpool v Manchester City. This clash between two Premier League giants kicks off early Monday morning.
Since winning the Community Shield against Manchester City, it’s been an underwhelming season for Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp’s side look a different animal this year, their form has, for their high standards, been poor.
Liverpool in Limbo?
Indicative of that is their current league position. They’re 10th in the table and remarkably, a top four finish isn’t looking the usual formality it’s been in previous campaigns.
Liverpool’s Premier League season started off with a draw to newly promoted Fulham, a draw with Crystal Palace, and a defeat to Manchester United – who had also got off to a shaky start. Managing just two points from nine will have been deemed unacceptable by Klopp.
A statement was made when they put nine past Bournemouth whilst keeping a clean sheet. This emphatic win was followed up with a stunning last-minute volley from Carvalho to bag three points against Newcastle. Was the Merseyside machine back to their best?
Cause for Concern?
They couldn’t maintain the momentum. Mirroring their first three results, in their last three outings, Liverpool have only accumulated two points from a possible nine. They’ve drawn with city rivals Everton, Brighton and were recently beaten 3-2 by Arsenal.
This form doesn’t bode well when going up against the current champions and league favourites, Manchester City. Guardiola’s side are the only team in the league to remain unbeaten and are knocking in goals for fun.
In their last three games, City have found the net 13 times. This included a 3-0 win over Wolves, a 6-3 victory against Manchester United, in which Foden and Haaland each got a hattrick, and a 4-0 win vs Southampton.
Given the quality of the two, a ruthless connection being formed between Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland was inevitable. There is not a defence in world football that would fancy their chances against the duo.
A Balanced Squad
Beyond this partnership taking the Premier League apart, City are blessed with individual excellence in the shape of Joao Cancelo. The Portuguese fullback offers defensive stability whilst bolstering the attack. Against the Saints, he kept a clean sheet, assisted, and scored a goal.
Their midfield is bursting with an array of talent. Rodri is a tidy defensive midfielder who gives City’s defence a layer of protection, and Gundogan is the complete centre midfielder with little to no flaws in his game. Bernardo Silva is as silky as he is versatile, he can play centrally or drift to the flanks, popping up with assists and goals as he goes.
Operating either side of Haaland in attack could be Grealish, Mahrez or Foden. Last Saturday, the Norwegian superstar had Foden and Mahrez on each flank. All three found themselves on the scoresheet that afternoon.
As we know, Liverpool are struggling and have key players under performing. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defensive capabilities seem to be called into question on a weekly basis, and Mohamed Salah is yet to replicate the form that earned him a massive new contract.
It’s now rumoured that Luis Diaz is out until after the World Cup, and with Darwin Núñez having just two goals to his name, Liverpool’s attack looks flat. Couple that with a vulnerable defence against a razor-sharp attack, we think that the Citizens will travel to Anfield and come away with a 3-1 win.
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