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Manchester City v Liverpool: 5 players to watch out for | Premier League 2019-20

  • EPL champions Liverpool will take on a formidable Manchester City side later this week.
  • Both sides are star-studded and will lock horns in an engaging battle as Pep Guardiola looks to prove a point.
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 29 Jun 2020, 21:51 IST
Manchester City hosts arch-rivals Liverpool this week
Manchester City hosts arch-rivals Liverpool this week

The EPL is set to witness one of its best fixtures in terms of quality this season and Manchester City welcomes Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday. The Reds became EPL champions last week after Pep Guardiola's side lost to Chelsea last week and will hope to continue their winning streak later this week.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manchester City will give Liverpool a guard of honour ahead of the much-hyped clash between the two EPL giants. Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are the two best managers in the EPL but have made their feelings of respect and admiration for each other clear over the past two years.

Manchester City superstars will play for pride as Liverpool sets sights on records

Liverpool won its first EPL title in over three decades
Liverpool won its first EPL title in over three decades

Liverpool has already broken innumerable records so far this season and will look to surpass the EPL's highest-ever points tally in the last few games. Pep Guardiola's Manchester City side currently holds that record after securing 100 points in the 2017/18 season.

Liverpool needs only 15 points from the remaining seven games to break Pep Guardiola's record and a win over Manchester City will provide further impetus to Jurgen Klopp's side.

Fixtures between Manchester City and Liverpool generally see incredible scorelines and hard-fought contests between the two sides. Both teams are equipped with potent weapons across the pitch and are known for their attacking style of play.

The reverse fixture resulted in a rounding 3-1 victory for Liverpool and dumped Manchester City out of the title race. The Cityzens have been bolstered with the return of several key players who will look to thwart Liverpool's attempts at yet another humiliation. Liverpool's superstars have been in terrific form themselves and will also look to get one over their Manchester City counterparts.

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Also Read: Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace: 5 talking points as champions-elect record stunning victory at Anfield | Premier League 2019-20


#5 Fabinho

Fabinho has been in sensational form for Liverpool
Fabinho has been in sensational form for Liverpool

Fabinho has been a revelation for Jurgen Klopp this season. The Brazilian midfielder possesses the rare ability to balance tenacity and creativity in equal measure and is a dominant force in the middle of the pitch for Liverpool.

In the reverse fixture at Anfield, Fabinho kickstarted a blistering first half for Liverpool with a stunning strike against Manchester City. Pep Guardiola's side never recovered from the blow and suffered against Liverpool's tenacious midfield.

Fabinho fired a warning shot to Manchester City with yet another blistering strike against Crystal Palace last week. Jurgen Klopp will count on his Brazilian maestro to go head-to-head with Manchester City's talented midfield.


#4 Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte has been a rock in defence for Manchester City
Aymeric Laporte has been a rock in defence for Manchester City

Aymeric Laporte is Manchester City's best defender without a shadow of a doubt. The talented centre-back was ruled out at the start of the EPL season and Pep Guardiola's side struggled as the result.

Manchester City has conceded an incredible 33 goals in 31 games this season and has sorely missed Laporte's presence in defence. The ball-playing centre-back is the ideal defender in Pep Guardiola's setup and can provide the Catalan manager with several defensive solutions against Liverpool.

Laporte is miles ahead of any of his other defensive teammates at Manchester City and will have his work cut out for him against the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah on Thursday.


#3 Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk is one of the best defenders in the EPL
Virgil van Dijk is one of the best defenders in the EPL

Virgil van Dijk is Liverpool's de facto leader in defence and has been one of the most reliable defenders in the world this season. The Dutch defender is incredibly difficult to beat in one-on-one situations and his aerial ability has served Liverpool well in the past.

Manchester City's attacking force is armed to the teeth and it will be up to Van Dijk to prevent the likes of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus from getting on the scoresheet at the Etihad Stadium.

Virgil van Dijk is also tasked with organising Liverpool's defensive line and will have to be wary of Manchester City's clever runs into the box. Van Dijk has been brilliant against Pep Guardiola's side in the past and will look to put in yet another strong performance.


#2 Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne will hold the key for Manchester City
Kevin De Bruyne will hold the key for Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the EPL and arguably in the world at the moment. The Belgian maestro can walk into any starting eleven in the world and his vision on the pitch in unparalleled in the EPL.

The Manchester City midfielder will be called upon by Pep Guardiola to give Manchester City an unwavering element of control in the midfield against Liverpool. The Reds have an immense work-rate and De Bruyne is one of the few midfielders in the world who can counter Jurgen Klopp's side.

The Belgian midfielder has been in brilliant form since the EPL restart and will be Manchester City's chief creator in the midfield as Pep Guardiola looks to momentarily put an end to Liverpool's celebrations.


#1 Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah was in blistering form against Crystal Palace
Mohamed Salah was in blistering form against Crystal Palace

Mohamed Salah became the first Egyptian player to win the EPL last week and has a few more individual achievements in his field of view as he visits Manchester City later this week.

The Liverpool winger has scored 17 goals so far in this EPL season and remains firmly in contention for the Golden Boot. Salah was in sensational touch against Crystal Palace and bagged a wonderful assist in the second half after scoring an excellent goal to double Liverpool's lead.

The pacy Liverpool forward also scored in the reverse fixture at Manchester City at Anfield after latching on to a cross from Andy Robertson. Mohamed Salah is Liverpool's most lethal attacking threat and will give Manchester City several headaches this Thursday.


Also Read: EPL 2019-20 Champions | 5 key moments that define Liverpool's title-winning campaign

Published 29 Jun 2020, 21:51 IST
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