Manchester City Need To Beat Liverpool This Week!

There are some games that just look like they’ll define a season and this week’s Premier League clash between champions Manchester City and league leaders Liverpool has that feel about it.

I think City need to claim all three points if they really want to retain their crown.

Now that might seem ridiculous as we just fallen into January but Liverpool currently look unstoppable. Jurgen Klopp’s men won seven out of seven in December and that included priceless wins over Everton, Manchester United and Arsenal.

In contrast Pep Guardiola watched on as his squad faltered during the festive period, losing three league games in the final month of 2108.

Those results have left Man City trailing The Reds by seven points as they head into this clash. They’re also worse off when it comes to goal difference.

Liverpool have still to taste defeat in the Premier League this season and that’s a big reason why Pep needs to mastermind a victory over their rivals.

It’s like a big boxing fight. If you are going to topple a favourite (Oddschecker have Liverpool as the favourites to win the league) then you need to show them that you have the strength to wobble them and get them on the back foot.

City can’t afford to lose this one. It will leave them ten points behind Liverpool and it gives Klopp and his team all the momentum. Liverpool will also know that they’ve beaten their biggest rivals and just need to stay professional through the league’s run in.

If Man City can dismantle Liverpool, then The Reds squad will need to react and other league sides will go into clashes against Klopp’s outfit knowing that they can be beaten.

The problem for The Citizens is that it won’t be easy.

Liverpool have went out in the last two transfer windows and really strengthen their squad.

We all know that they have a wonderful front three that can produce match winning performances against any opponent.

But with the additions of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson and Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, the Merseysiders now have the best backline in England’s top flight. They’ve only conceded eight goals in their first twenty league games.

Plus Manchester City have had their own issues as of late.

They’ve missed holding midfielder Fernandinho terribly and while the veteran has returned from injury it remains to be seen if he’s fully fit after his recent issues with his thigh.

Guardiola will also have to decide on who he’ll play at left-back.

Natural choice Benjamin Mendy is out with a knee injury and the experience hand Fabian Delph is missing due to suspension.

Pep could move Danilo across from right-back to fill-in on the left or he could start with youngster Oleksandr Zinchenko. Neither option will thrill the Spanish coach when he thinks of Liverpool’s fearsome forwards and Reds full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold bombing forward whenever he can.

The Man City manager is also sweating over the fitness of top talent Kevin De Bruyne. He said this to Sky Sports:

“It is normal for this to happen when you spend three to four months out injured – you come back in such a demanding period and you have a little bit of a problem.”

“It’s not a big issue, but I cannot say if he will be able to play on Thursday.”

City’s fans will be desperate to see the Belgian maestro lining up against Liverpool as he’s a player that can unlock even the tightest of defences.

It really is a mouth-watering clash and if you could pick one team to beat Liverpool then you’d probably say Manchester City, given the talent they have and the experience they’ve gained in the last eighteen months.

But it’s not going to be easy and City will need to be at their best but you’ve got to think that Pep Guardiola will send his team out with a game plan to bring Liverpool down.

Will it be enough? Can Jurgen Klopp produce another managerial masterclass to keep City at bay?

We’ll only find that out on Thursday and I, for one, can’t wait!

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