Defending the Premier League title isn’t easy in a league of unpredictability. And nobody said it would be easy either. Manchester City are currently second in the Premier League table, trailing behind rivals Liverpool by six points.
As it is, City is still very much in the race but many injuries to key players in the squad poses a little bit of challenge for the club. It is a pressing issue but also impressive to see how well it has been managed ahead of the transfer window in January.
City prepares to face their rivals this weekend in the Premier League fixture and they will be playing at Anfield in a big game match that will really determine much in the club’s race for the league. Winning that match will see City close the gap between them and Liverpool by just three points and losing the match will see Liverpool extend the lead by nine points.
Losing is not something City can afford when they go to Anfield this weekend and so, they will have to give it their all and secure a win. Needless to say that Liverpool isn’t also an easy team to play as they have been going really strong this season.
What Manchester City needs to look out for against Liverpool
Anyone who has watched Liverpool’s games well this season will see a familiar pattern in it. They play very much from the sides and the power to that style is Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson. Those two have been beasts this season, dominating games with their strength and ability to press forward.
Even though Liverpool are one of the teams with the strongest defence in all of Europe, two of their key defenders do not play as actual defenders. Alexander-Arnold is one of the important creators for Liverpool and for City to be able to play, they need to first neutralize his threat.
The damage this 21-year-old right-back can do should not be underestimated. His current Premier League stats show he has one goal, three assists, nine big chances created and 22% cross accuracy. To be on the safe side, City will have to pay close attention to him and not give him enough chance to play.
We have seen how much his input affects Liverpool’s game during their match against Manchester United where he was not allowed space to breathe. If City can map him out like that too then he won’t be a threat in the game.
City’s defence needs to be adventurous
It is understandable that Pep Guardiola’s game style is different from Jurgen Klopp’s so the tactic doesn’t allow the full-backs to be adventurous. That rigidity might need to be cubbed during the match with Liverpool this weekend.
Letting the defenders press forward will contribute to attack and as well help City block incoming threats. If they continuously stand in the way of Alexander-Arnold and Robertson, then there is no free space for them to run to. With no free space to run to, they cannot create chances.
This might be hard for City to keep up seeing as it’s not a style of play the Cityzens are used to but a little adjustment here and there can help them seal the win they need.
It’s going to be a big game this weekend as it will determine where the two clubs in first and second will be. For Manchester City, this is a fight to stay in the race and get on Liverpool’s neck as much as possible and for Liverpool, this is a race to make sure they establish a comfortable lead.