Liverpool v Manchester City - 4pm Sun 14th Jan - Premier League Preview and Match Day Thread

Skoorb

Alert Team
#1
After the interregnum (good word that) of the domestic cup fixtures it is back to Premier League action with a match that will have the hacks salivating as they predict the latest downfall of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Strap yourselves in & hold on to your hats as the media dials up the Over-Hype Drive to maximum and looks forward to City’s latest “Biggest Test of the Season”.

This is of course after the previous “Biggest Test of the Season” where they put four past media-darlings Spurs, or the one before that where they defeated the rags on their home patch or the one before that…….

Is there a pattern emerging here?

Rest assured Pep will know the task that lies ahead of his squad as they set off down the East Lancs road and will relish the challenge........perhaps this time the hacks may actually have called it right.

The two form clubs in the Premier League will go head-to-head on Sunday afternoon and there will be many predicting that Jurgen Klopp will be the man who punches a hole City’s otherwise imperious progress this season. The home team haven’t lost a game since they were beaten 4-1 by Spurs at Wembley in October; City remain undefeated in domestic competitions having only lost to Shakhtar Donetsk in the final Champions League group stage fixture in early December.

Add to this City’s less than sparkling form at Anfield where either haven’t secured a victory since 2003 and have lost 14 of their twenty games their since the inception of the Premier League and the threat to City’s outstanding domestic run is quite clear.

City’s overall record against Liverpool is likewise nothing to write home about - W54 D52 L101 -and so man City fans will feel that if the ‘balloon’ is to be punctured then this fixture presents perhaps a clear and present danger.

One thing is certain…..there will be no bus parking and City’s players will need to deliver a top performance especially defensively where Mo Salah will pose a significant threat. Averaging a goal every 94 minutes in the league he is second in the overall scoring charts on 17 goals (only one behind ‘Arry ‘Studs Up’ Kane) and also has 5 assists to his name. He came close to finding the net when City put 5 past the scousers in the reverse fixture and has now gotten to grips with the league - he will pose a significant threat there is no doubt.

Another certainty of course is that there will be no goal from Coutinho this time to score his almost traditional goal against City. Now that Brazilian playmaker has departed for Barcelona I have been waiting for various scouse fans to undertake their usual revision of history by claiming that “they won’t miss him” or that they “never rated him anyway”…… Oxlaide-Chamberlain has already joined the party in claiming the former. I await James “I left to play in central midfield” Milner to chip in with what have now become regular snipes at City - such a shame but the guy has gone down more in my estimation since departing City than I care to put into words.

Talking of players the Liverpool fans “never rated” in their parallel reality, we have to hope that Raheem Sterling, the subject of a bitter, twisted and vitriolic campaign following his move to City can continue his scintillating goal scoring form and deliver a performance against his former club that will stick in their throats. Come on Raheem, now is the time young man.

At the back of course Liverpool have strengthened during the transfer window by securing the services of Virgil van Dijk. Scorer of a winning goal in the Merseyside derby on his debut he of course has secured a place in the hearts of Liverpool fans. It just struck me as rather ironic that they would sing the praises of a player who left another club for a stupendous transfer fee after a rather acrimonious departure - clearly it’s alright of course for Liverpool to buy a player who wishes to further his career at a club where he sees their is perhaps more chance of winning trophies. Hmmm. I just wonder whether any of them will see the irony when they are singing Virgil’s name? Responses on a postcard……..

Team News

Liverpool - Salah, Sturridge, Henderson and Moreno are all down as ‘slight doubts’…..so I think they could all well be available for Sunday. Clyne will be missing with a back injury.

City managed to negotiate the FA Cup and League cup fixtures without sustaining any further injuries so the injury list remains Mendy, Foden, Jesus & Kompany. We await updates on whether David Silva will be available.

Predicted XI….

Ederson

Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva D (*or Gundogan depending on the situation with young Mateo in Valencia)

Sterling, Aguero, Sané

Subs -

Bravo, Danilo, Mangala, Zinchenko, Toure, Silva B, Diaz

Officials: -

Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Scott Ledger, Richard West
Fourth official: Mike Dean

There is no doubt that Pep and his squad face a massive task on Sunday. City’s record against Liverpool at Anfield is poor and Liverpool will see this as a huge opportunity to stake their credentials by taking away City’s undefeated status as well as keeping up the drive for a Champions League place.

But there is also no doubt that Pep will have plan and will send out his players to play their game and try and win the match. After negotiating the domestic cup ties safely and without shipping any injuries City should be back to full strength from the available players (David Silva’s position excepted) and will likewise be up for this game.

We could be in for a classic……..

Come on City!!!
 

Rising

Alert Team
#2
Skoorb :005:
The King of Egypt has been passed fit. Shame. He is deadly.
They have strengthened with the signing of Dick.
A draw or even a loss would not be catastrophic.


 

OziMan

Vital Football Legend
#3
Not sure if the Egyptian will get the freedom to run around as he has been doing in his last few matches Rising.
I think we will have him well covered but it will still be a pretty close game.
 

Skoorb

Alert Team
#4
Good news if correct

“David Silva is going to train today with the team and will be available to face Liverpool on Sunday”. [@10JoseAlvarez]
 

Skoorb

Alert Team
#5
Pep Guardiola after the 427th question about Sanchez at his Friday Press conference :060: :064:

#totallyfocused

“I’m focused on Liverpool, believe me. As a manager you have a lot of words to deal with and you have to choose which ones you want to be focused on. I want to be focused on what we have to do on the field. The game and (how to) play, that is my only concern.

“I would not like my players, when they see me on TV or read the newspapers, (to hear) the manager talking about another (player) and thinking they are not important. The important thing is what happens in 90 minutes on the field. That is what I want to speak (about).

“They have two choices: follow what you said or follow me. Hopefully I’m going to try to convince them about what’s happening on the pitch.

“Spain made a good step: journalists talk about what happened on the pitch. The people speak more than usual what happens on the pitch. The game. Of course I answer your questions.”
 
#7
Buzz's pick

Ederson

Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph

De Bruyne, Fernandinho,Gundogan,Silva D Sterling

Aguero

Subs - Bravo, Danilo, Bernardo, Gundogan, Sterling, Mangala, Zinchenko

I think Pep will play and extra in front of the back four with Gundogan, but Sterling may be on the bench I am not sure that the Liverpool fans wont get on his back and deride any mistakes the lad makes, this in turn will make the lad more determined and that will enhance the errors, but a twenty to 30 minute 2nd half spell make bear fruit.

 
#8
Great review Skoorb.
I have been to many of these games at Maine road and the Etihad, but it is mainly at Maine Road that City have gone out there being a goal down at the Kick off, I have however witnessed us get a draw at Anfield 2-2, it is not a happy hunting ground as far as points go.

However, we are one of the finest teams in the Country and currently the best, whilst Liverpool blow hot and cold on occasions, they are always up for the bigger teams and have a fabulous fan base, who lift there team, I have butterflies already and may just wait in a darkened room until 6pm and then just peak at the score, a draw would be an ok result for me, a win would be a statement.
 

Skoorb

Alert Team
#9
It would be a statement indeed.The stakes are high in that respect. I am trying not to think of the avalanche of sychopnacy that will have to be witnessed if we don’t secure at least a point.

Trying to think positive thoughts :103:
 
#11
Tributes have been paid to ex-Liverpool goal keeper Tommy Lawrence who passed away earlier this week aged 77.

He was Bill Shankly's first choice keeper during the 1960s and spent 14 years at Liverpool, playing just under 400 times for the Merseyside club, before ending his career at Tranmere Rovers.

The first article below contains a lovely clip of an interview conducted by a BBC reporter in 2015 who was asking members of the public whether they recalled the 1967 FA Cup tie between LIverpool and Everton.

He was astounded when one of those he spoke to replied "That's right! Yes I do [remember it], I played in it! I was the goalkeeper for Liverpool."

Lovely stuff & very touching :005: :001:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42634388

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2018/01/10/liverpool-mourn-death-offormer-goalkeeper-tommy-lawrence-aged/

It is unclear yet whether there will be a minutes silence in tribute to him prior to kick off on Sunday - I wouldn't be surprised and it would be richly deserved.

 
#13
Bonjour! I have a tinge of “that” old feeling about today’s game (laws of averages, referees etc) but its tempered by the fact that we have shown at Chelsea, Stretford and Napoli that places like Candlefield are where must win if we are to realise our aspirations this season. I sense a high scoring draw but factually we should deliver a professional away win. 0-2 City.
 
#14
Morning JB.

Our record at Anfield never gives me confidence but the squad have performed at high levels elsewhere and whatever history says it is THIS moment that counts.

Come on City!!!
 
#20
Johnny Baguette - 14/1/2018 11:22

Bin Dipper Echo reporting Van Dijk is knacked.
Likewise on Talkspurt

https://talksport.com/football/liverpool-fc-blow-virgil-van-dijk-miss-premier-league-match-against-manchester-city-due

Smoke and mirrors?

I will believe it when the team sheets are issued at 3pm