3 things Manchester City need to do to beat Liverpool
The new Premier League season is seven match-days old and a number of high-profile games have already given the fans a lot to talk about. However, the game between Manchester City and Liverpool on Sunday represents a different proposition altogether. Despite the league being at a nascent stage, not many would argue with the clash being billed as a massive title-clinching six-pointer.
Last season, Manchester City left everyone in their wake, on their romp to the title. However, the only team the Cityzens found a hard nut to crack were their Merseyside rivals. Liverpool inflicted Manchester City’s first loss in the league while also sending them crashing out of the Champions League in the last eight.
The first league game between the pair ended 5-0 in City’s favour with Sadio Mane being controversially sent off. The reverse fixture at Anfield saw Liverpool out-play their rivals from the north with an exciting display of exhilarating football.
As the pair prepare to cross swords for the first time this season, both managers will have their task cut out, trying to devise a winning formula. Through the course of this article, we would look at three things that the Cityzens need to do in order to emerge triumphant at Anfield and acquire the advantage in an already neck and neck title race.
#1 Play out from the back with confidence
Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are known to be strong advocates of playing out from the back. After initial teething problems, Pep has gotten his City team dancing to his tunes.
At Anfield last season, Liverpool deployed an energetic high-press which left Manchester City shell-shocked. The Cityzens committed at least a couple of errors which led to goals with John Stones, in particular, being guilty. However, in order to win against Liverpool on Sunday, City need to play out from the back and do it with confidence.
The strategy of paying out from the back against a pressing side as adept at Liverpool is akin to playing with fire. However, if City is able to play around the press, the rewards are exponential.
If the Cityzens are successful in beating the press, they will outnumber Liverpool in midfield while also creating a superior numerical advantage in the final third. The success of their strategy to play out from the back would also dent Liverpool’s belief as their Plan A would’ve been successfully neutralised.
Pep has a penchant for not changing his style, whatever the opposition may be. He needs to do the same against Liverpool and adopt the high risk, high reward approach of playing out from the back.
The game of football is won by being brave and evidence shows that the Cityzens have no locus to err on the side of caution this time round. All we can do now is wait and watch if Pep can pull out another rabbit out of his hat.