Coutinho less Liverpool face Manchester City

Published 01/14/2018, 12:04 AM EST

It’s fair to say that the Premier League’s big six have to build a league of their own. They are in a different class to the other teams in the division. Quite naturally, matchups between have high anticipation. Even in those Liverpool vs Manchester City is one that attacks the neutral more than any other. Both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola play a brand football that is pleasing to the eye. Neither beliefs in compromise or pragmatism, no matter who the opponent is. Hence the fixture is one that inevitably turns out to be an exciting game of football. Though Manchester City and Liverpool do not share any sort of traditional rivalry when the two teams meet the world watches.


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Coutinho less Liverpool

Source: Daily Mirror

The build up this match won’t be quite possible without talking about a certain Brazilian. Ever since his arrival to Liverpool in the winter of 2013, Phil Coutinho has been a player that has been the heart and soul of the club. It took him no time to be a fan favorite at Anfield. The former Inter Milan midfielder not only the man who ran the show for Klopp’s side but also produced some magical moments when the team needed it the most. But in the last week, Liverpool finally lost him to Barcelona. Coutinho desire to move to Catalonia was long known but their best effort to keep him at the club went in vain. The showdown vs Manchester City would be Liverpool first game since the transfer was made official.


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What is the real story? 

Liverpool and Manchester will face off against each other in a mouth-watering encounter. The Premier League rivals will go head to head at Anfield in a Sunday evening kick-off. Under the lights at Anfield, it is certain to be an edge of the seat match. Liverpool will be desperate to take revenge of the 5-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in Manchester.

You might be wondering- where do the two teams stand  

Manchester City’s form doesn’t need any elaboration anymore. They have surpassed even the highest expecations that people had of them.The Citizens have only not won two of their 22 league games so far. Its quite vividly form that has instilled fear in the rest of the league. But the ray of hope for Liverpool comes from the fact that Guardiola’s team drew their second last league game to Palace.

On the other hand, it has been a season of two halves for Liverpool so far. Having had a terrible start to the season the Reds have bounced back strongly. Since the humiliating 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, Klopp’s side has turned around their season. In the 13 matches since Liverpool has won nine and drawn four games. It is certainly a team that is high on confidence and will pose a serious threat to Manchester City.

In the Premier League table, the two teams are separated by a massive 18 points. Manchester sits comfortably at the top of the table with 62 points. Whereas Liverpool is currently in 4th place, three points behind Chelsea.

Key Factors 

How will Liverpool do without Coutinho

Losing a player of Coutinho’s stature is never easy for a team. The psychological impact it can have on other players can be harmful to the team. In such a situation, it’s quite possible that heads drop in the team and players lose faith in the team. Further, how he is replaced tactically will be a big factor for Liverpool. It’s important that they find the right solution so that the team doesn’t feel his absence on the pitch. Clearly, this match could not have come at a worse time for Liverpool. It’s now upon Jurgen Klopp to lift the confidence of his team and ensure they forget about their former number ten.  How Liverpool react to the departure of Phil Coutinho could be the decisive factor at Anfield.

Virgil Van Dijk 

Source: Independent

In the gloom of Losing Coutino, it’s easy to forget the star arrival of Anfield. After a very long pursuit, Liverpool finally managed to complete the signing of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton. The Dutch center back was bought for a club record fee of £75m. Jurgan Klopp’s  team’s weakness in defense is well known and he could go a long way in solving it. Van Dijk enjoyed a dream debut as he scored the winner in the Merseyside derby helping his team advance in the FA CUP. Quite naturally he will come into his first Premier League encounter with his new team full of confidence.

Can the rampagent Manchester City be stopped? 

The question on everyone’s mind currently is how to stop the rampage of Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side. Many have tried but except for Shakhtar in an inconsequential game in the Champions league, no one has been able to beat them. Only two teams in the Premier League have managed to take any points against them. City has won against each of the league’s “top 6”. So how can Liverpool beat them?

Most sides while facing City have come and tried to park the bus. While some might have given them a fight, it hasnt got them results. If City’s 0-0 draw vs Palace, Napoli’s performance in the first half an hour at Naples and Bristol City’s heroic fight at Etihad is to go by, the best way to beat City is to take the game to them. This is the reason why Liverpool could be the perfect foil to beat Manchester City. It’s a fact that Jurgan Klopp will attack them with all his might. Manchester City’s defense has still shown signs of being vulnerable and Liverpool have the quality to expose that.

The Big Battle 

Kevin De Bruyne vs Mohammed Salah. 

Source: Skysports

The two best players in the Premier League this season will go head to head this Sunday. The two former Chelsea players have been phenomenal to say this season. While De Bruyne has run the show for Manchester City from midfield, Salah has been the star of a shining Liverpool front line. KDB leads the assist charts for the league while Salah is remarkably second in the golden boot race. Both teams will look at their star players to inspire them in this all-important match. Not just the 3 points but maybe even Player of the year award is on stake at Anfield.

Premier League of the year 

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomes, VVD, Matip, Robertson, Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Salah, Mane, Firmino

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Delph, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero.

When is the match? 

The match will kick off at Anfield at 9:30 PM IST.




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Aayush Kataria

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