10 Key Points to Know Before the Liverpool — Manchester City Match

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On Sunday, Liverpool will host Man City at Anfield, and the Reds are already 13 points behind Pep Guardiola’s team in the table. It’s not going to be the “title match” we expected or wanted.

Liverpool vs Manchester City
Premier League (9) | Anfield
October 16, 2022 | 16:30 (Moscow time)

“It could be this year, just not with us,” Jurgen Klopp replied rather ironically when asked that this match is no longer decisive for the title.

As for Pep Guardiola, he insisted that Liverpool are still City’s main rivals for the title, saying that “anything can happen.”

Mind games from two bosses, both looking to take the pressure off their side ahead of what will still be a huge event at Anfield.

The 7-1 defeat over Rangers has boosted morale in the Liverpool camp, but Klopp knows that his team’s internal form — and stability — must improve rapidly if they are to have any chance of competing for the leadership.

As he hinted after the defeat by Arsenal last weekend, the meeting with City is certainly not an ideal game for a team struggling for form in the league.

But players don’t need extra motivation for a game of this magnitude.

1. We meet again…

It has been an outstanding match in the Premier League for several years now, and despite Liverpool’s disappointing form in the league, the eyes of the entire football world will be on Anfield this Sunday.

It seems like a long time ago, but it should be remembered that the last time these two teams met in the Community Shield, the Reds won at the end of July.

But this victory was something of a false dawn for Liverpool. Since then, the form of the two teams could not differ much.

Erling Haaland has really silenced all the first doubters, having already scored 20 goals this season, and City are one point behind the league leader Arsenal.

Another win here would put them 16 points above Liverpool and certainly put an end to any weak title aspirations that remain at Anfield.

2. What can I read about the City game in the middle of the week?

Copenhagen, with the help of former Liverpool goalkeeper Kamil Grabar, reduced City to a 0-0 draw in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Joao Cancelo and Kevin De Bruyne were among those who started the game, and the team was tuning into the 4-2-3-1 system they have used for most of this season.

However, Holand was an unused substitute, and Guardiola claimed that he did not want to risk the striker because of health problems.

I’ve heard it before before the Liverpool game!

3. Could Haaland really have missed the chance?

No, he’ll get better!

At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Guardiola said that Holand, along with Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden, whom he also questioned in midweek, are now “feeling good” and “ready” for the trip to Anfield.

Then nothing surprising!

English trio John Stones, Kyle Walker and Calvin Phillips remain on the sidelines.

Possible Man City XI: Ederson; Akanji, Diaz, Ake, Cancelo; Gundogan, Bernardo; Foden, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland

4. What about the Liverpool team news?

Good question! Interestingly, Klopp didn’t want to reveal anything about his responsibilities to the media on Friday.

“We have yet to find out who will be available after the Rangers game for the City game,” he insisted.

“Then we’ll make a queue and go.”

As far as we know, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Calvin Ramsay, Arthur, Naby Keita and Luis Diaz remain on the sidelines.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was pictured at training earlier this week, but it’s unlikely he’ll be ready to play for some time yet.

Let’s hope that after the trip to Ibrox there will be no new problems with injuries.

5. Will the 4-4-2 scheme be dangerous against City?

This is something Klopp will weigh up before Sunday’s meeting.

The Reds have set the score 4-4-2 in their last three matches, and given that their last game was a 7-1 victory, there is every chance that Klopp will go down this path again.

But could two midfielders and four attacking players be too risky an approach against the champions?

If this is the same arrangement, then the main decisions for Klopp will probably be those who line up in midfield next to Thiago, and who leads the line.

Darwin Nunez scored in consecutive matches, but Mohamed Salah came off the bench to score a hat-trick as a central striker against Rangers.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Hota; Nunez

6. Is Salah getting fit at the right time?

We all remember what Mo did when these two teams met at Anfield last season.

And his record-breaking night at Ibrox on Wednesday undoubtedly boosted his confidence ahead of this game.

It will certainly be interesting to see if Klopp decides to stay with Salah as a central striker in the coming weeks.

At Friday’s press conference, he seemed to downplay the significance of this option.

“It’s not that different,” the manager said.

“Whatever system we use, you need to be in the penalty area and next to it to finish, that’s how it’s done. He was there, definitely.

“I don’t think it was related to the position. There were situations when we had possession of the ball, and Mo moved to the right side, to his right flank.”

7. What else did the boss say?

A lot about Erling Haaland!

“As always, when you play against the best striker in the world, you have to make sure that he doesn’t get so many balls.

“This is something you have to protect before you engage him in battle, so we will try to do that.

“But in the case of City, the problem is that if you close Holand with too many players, you create gaps for all the other world-class players, so it won’t make life easier.

“It’s a challenge, a football problem, but we’re trying to find solutions.”

8. Did you know?

Avoid defeat here and Liverpool will extend their unbeaten streak against City in all competitions to five games for the first time since March 2017.

Salah has scored eight goals in 15 appearances for Liverpool against City in all competitions.

Only three players — Ian Rush (15), Kenny Dalglish and Gordon Hodgson (11 each) — scored more often for the Reds in all games against them.

Klopp has won five of his 14 games against City with five draws and four defeats.

Against Guardiola, Klopp has won 11 and lost nine during his managerial career at Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.

9. Taylor responds

The referee will be Anthony Taylor, who took part in this match four times — all at the Etihad.

With two wins and two draws, City are unbeaten in the games Taylor has refereed between the two teams.

This season, he has given out 27 yellow and 2 red in eight matches of the top division.

10. How can you follow?

For those in the UK, the game will be shown on the main event of Sky Sports, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HDR.

If you’re not at the match or can’t watch it on TV, join Sam Milne on the game day blog This Is Anfield from 15:45.

Come on, reds!

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