There will high pressing, high octane football, but more importantly, there will be goals on Wednesday between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. Why? The two managers – Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and City’s Pep Guardiola always want to play on the front foot and in their first two meetings this season, their teams produced 12 goals.
Guardiola’s City have lost four times this season – once in the EPL, twice in the Champions League, and in the FA Cup to Wigan. Their only loss in the EPL was to Liverpool at Anfield on January 14. Liverpool also hold an enviable record at Anfield against the Citizens – having not lost since May 2, 2003.
The rallying cry from Klopp to his players is to be brave and be ready to make mistakes. “If you are ready to make mistakes, if you are ready to enjoy the work and your attitude is at the highest level, if your character is at the highest level, then you have a chance,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
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Meanwhile, Guardiola knows that City will be playing into Liverpool’s hands because of the way Liverpool play, but he says he will not change. “The way we play is perfect for Liverpool,” Guardiola said at the pre-match conference.
“The way they attack the space, they are so good. Of course, we will try to do something, but I feel the best way to win is to play how we’ve been doing as a group all season.”
“I am not so arrogant not to think about Liverpool. But I can tell you we won’t defend for 80 minutes and try and take our one chance. Why change our approach when it’s been working so well? We try to respect them while trying to impose our game.”
Liverpool have Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane as the front three and they have scored 21 goals in total from 109 chances created while the City’s front three of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, and Gabriel Jesus have seven goals from 80 chances created.
With David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne, City have the ability to prise open any defence but will they have that much time on the ball with the direct running of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from midfield. Klopp has his own worries and it is in defence where Joel Matip has been ruled out for the rest of the season, which means the error-prone Dejan Lovren will partner Virgil Van Dijk.
Current Form: Liverpool [W-W-L-D-W]; Man. City [W-W-L-W-W]
Head to head
Sun 14/01/18 PRL Liverpool 4 – 3 Man. City
Sat 09/09/17 PRL Man. City 5 – 0 Liverpool
Sun 19/03/17 PRL Man. City 1 – 1 Liverpool
Sat 31/12/16 PRL Liverpool 1 – 0 Man. City
Wed 02/03/16 PRL Liverpool 3 – 0 Man. City
Words before the War
“City aren’t perfect, but it’s not possible [to be perfect]. This is not the right moment to talk about weaknesses, though. It’s about showing them respect – that’s what we’ll do.” – Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool Manager
“We’ve scored the most goals in the Premier League by far. Jürgen Klopp’s side has also scored a lot of goals. Klopp’s teams are very honest – they try to play the right way. It will be a great game.” – Pep Guardiola, Manchester City Manager.