Liverpool v City | teams and tactics

In two days time we play possibly our biggest game of the season. If we can beat City we extend our lead over them to nine points and after just twelve games played that would be some going. It would also give us a massive advantage in the race for the title.

Going into the game I feel there are a number of interesting things to look at, namely who plays and where. I'll come to the specifics of that shortly but first I thought we could consider both teams strengths and weaknesses.

City strengths: Arguably the best midfield on the planet. Arguably the best attack on the planet.

City weaknesses: Currently their defence isn't the greatest and surprisingly for a team with such a strong squad they're even having to field makeshift centre backs like Fernandinho.

Liverpool strengths: Arguably the best attack on the planet. Arguably the second best midfield on the planet. A better defence than City.

Liverpool weaknesses: An issue sometimes of lacking creativity from midfield. A defence which although superior to City's is not quite at it's best and struggling to keep clean sheets as a result.

So both teams qualities overlap in certain areas which is to be expected. At the end of the day we're both extremely good. Will any of the subtle differences prove decisive though? Perhaps our better defence could nullify City's creative edge in midfield, or vice versa. And maybe City's weaker defence means our attack backed by our more robust midfield system will prevail.

Obviously there are many more intricacies for our respective managers to take into account as they decide on the teams they will field but I think the above are certainly big factors. From our point of view I feel some of the key decisions will be as follows.

How might Trent Alexander-Arnold get on against Raheem Sterling? Sometimes Jurgen seems to decide Trent doesn't offer quite enough defensive solidity and opts to play Milner on the right or perhaps in this match Gomez. Personally I hope we go with Trent because as soon as we don't we lose a large amount of attacking creativity on that side. Sticking with our defence, Joel Matip is still out so do we trust in Lovren or again perhaps Gomez is the better option.

In midfield we will need to decide whether we want all out robustness: Henderson, Gini, Fabinho or whether we want to have a little more attacking bite, in which case perhaps we play Ox. Possibly in place of Henderson. It seems unthinkable to me that our captain doesn't start a game of this stature but then he was out with illness for our last match so may not be 100% anyway.

Attacking wise I have a feeling for a change we might play Mane, Firmino and Salah. It may seem a touch lacking in imagination but providing Henderson is fit enough to start, I believe this is still our most reliably good eleven. Also I can't see Jurgen going more attacking in midfield against City, at least not until later in the match. I think he'll favour robustness. To that end I wouldn't be surprised if he did go for Gomez or Milner in place of TAA but as above I hope not.

Predicted-line-up-vs-City

Regardless of the teams fielded it will be interesting to see if we can maintain our attacking threat out wide because if City manage to thwart such then we could be left once again struggling with a midfield which can't create much through the centre. On the flip side if our midfield can strong arm City's midfield then we knock one of their main weapons out of action and they might struggle.

I expect a very closely fought game and when all is said and done the difference could simply come down to which team takes their chances and that's another aspect which is too close to call. We do have one more factor in our favour though and it's rather a large one - Anfield.

Please post your thoughts all, as well as any other content which might be of interest ahead of kick off. As soon as Jurgen's presser is available I'll post that but will finish this article by saying I hope to see a nice intimidating atmosphere for Ripper Raheem and his posse, plenty of red smoke, aerial rotten tomatoes and the like but please, for the love of dog, let's not get carried away.


Factoring in all of the above my prediction for this one, and I've thought long and hard (no Jay)

4-0
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