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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Premier League: Liverpool vs Manchester City; Win and the title is on, lose and forget it

Another dismal Anfield defeat.

Back-to-back defeats at the fortress, can you actually believe it?

It was the worst result Liverpool could have hoped for leading up to their massive game against the leaders Manchester City especially when the champions looked like they had turned a corner.

The performance was a carbon copy of the Burnley loss a few games ago.

No creative spark with no urgency.

They all looked knackered and in fact they were as Jurgen Klopp claimed they were mentally fatigued hence the poor showing.

Now Liverpool have to bounce back if they want any sort of chance of retaining their crown, it is the definition of a must-win game.

Manchester City already have a game in hand on Liverpool so Klopp’s men cannot afford to fall further behind otherwise realistically there is no chance of another title win.

So thankfully for the game three key men are back and ready to play.

Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Sadio Mane were all missing for the Brighton defeat.

Sadio Mane was badly missed on Wednesday as there was not one player who dragged Graham Potter’s team about with nearly all of their average positions being in the middle of the pitch.

Therefore, making it so easy to defend against.

That cannot happen against Manchester City with their exceptional defensive record at the moment.

John Stones and Ruben Dias have been rock solid with the pair keeping six clean sheets on the bounce in the league meaning the famous front three need to be on their A game from the get-go.

However, the more important defensive situation is obviously Liverpool’s, like it has been all season.

Ozan Kabak has been cleared to play and was involved in training as well as other new signing Ben Davies.

It would be a big ask for the two to start together for their debut’s with Fabinho likely to start alongside one of the two if either do get the baptism of fire of getting their first appearance against Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola will be without Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne for the trip to Anfield which will be a massive blow to his side.

He has managed perfectly fine though so far this season with Manchester City’s obscene squad depth being a massive part of that.

Guardiola has never had much fun at Anfield and in recent years to the extent in which he has referred to it as a “bugger of a ground.”

But there are no fans to get under his skin and there are no fans to make his side crumble like they have done many times at Anfield.

It will make a huge difference to how this fixture normally goes but Klopp and his side must adapt but the German will know more than anyone that his side needs to win this game.

Especially considering on paper Pep and his team have a difficult run of fixtures which may see them go through another rough patch, well that is what Liverpool will be hoping for as they need them to slip up.

If Liverpool do not get the result they need though, it will confirm fans worst fears that this season is purely a top four race, even though many have already decided that this is the case.

So, it is time to get everyone’s hopes back up.

This fixture has been one of the highest quality that the Premier League has ever seen, and it should not disappoint this time round.

A belter for the neutral but not so much fir the supporters.

Written by Elliot Thompson

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