Not many people could have foreseen the current premier league standings at the top. Liverpool, with 3 wins on the trot, lead the table with 9 points looking to make that 12 tonight. They are the only premier league team this season yet to concede a goal, and certainly now,they are being considered as genuine title contenders after nearly 6 years.
Manager Brendan Rogers has been excellent so far with Liverpool, having convinced want-away striker Luiz Suarez to stay put and making a number of well-calculated and intelligent purchases over the summer, and winning the Manager of the Month for August.
The signings include, among others that of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. The Belgian was brilliant on opening weekend for Liverpool, saving a penalty and making a few brilliant saves.Rodgers also signed Iago Aspas from Celta de Vigo, who has found his rhythm playing alongside Sturridge. He bought in Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City has been good for them. On the deadline day, Rodgers signed Victor Moses for a season-long loan from Chelsea. The biggest success on the deadline day for them was the signing of 23-year old Mohammed Sakho for £18m from PSG.
The key battles taking place on the green turf should be interesting to watch. Some of them include:
Ashley Williams vs Daniel Sturridge
This clash should be mouth watering as Williams is currently posing as one of the best defenders in the League. The Welshman is great in the air, can make quick runs back and forth to halt any winger’s advances and tackles brilliantly.
He will be up against Daniel Sturridge, who has been wonderful for Liverpool this year. His personal form has improved exponentially and never let felt the absence of their main striker Saurez. He has had a brilliant first month in the league.
Defending Sturridge would be difficult as he makes swift runs almost perfectly. He operates mainly between the centre-backs and his pace confronts any defender. He genially allows the second striker to time his run delicately as he causes his marking man to wander from his position.
Williams would have to keep a check on Sturridge all the while during the match and cannot allow any room for errors, and should not allow himself to be out of position.
Steven Gerrard vs Miguel Michu
Michu has been brilliant in the striking position for Swansea this season and is showing his potency in the role. The Spaniard is not necessarily deployed as a striker. Michael Laudrup brings into play his versatility when he is playing just behind the main striker.
Unlike countless strikers, Michu does not operate in the box itself. He roams freely and creates a lot of chances, thereby allowing defenders and central midfielders to cause trouble.
Together with Wilfried Bonny, the duo can make any defense look shaky. The Europa League is a testament to their solid partnership.
Central midfielder Steven Gerrard will have be aware of Michu’s advances and late runs into the box too. Gerrard will most likely sit deep to complement his long-passing game. One if his main jobs would be to contain Bony and Michu’s partnership.