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Exceptional Manchester City head to Liverpool needing a win to keep pace at the top
Manchester City to win 3-1
Tournament: Premier League 2022-2023 | Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, AnfieldBet Now
Liverpool’s season took another turn for the worse last weekend, when they were handed a 3-2 beating by Arsenal, a team that the Reds had traditionally been successful against.
It seems as though Arsenal have taken Liverpool’s position as Manchester City’s main title challengers this season, judging by the gap between the two teams.
Liverpool now sit 14 points off the top, although they’ve played a game more. Jurgen Klopp’s men now face arguably an even tougher task, that of beating the current champions Manchester City.
City have been as brilliant as ever under Pep Guardiola so far this season. The addition of Erling Haaland upfront has taken them to a new level, whereas Liverpool’s own level has fallen considerably.
If City were to win this game, you feel that it would put Liverpool too far behind the top two to compete this season.
Although there is a long way to go, it would be incredible if City dropped so many points between now and the end of the season.
So much rests on this game for both sides.
LIVERPOOL (200 words)
Reasons to be cheerful:
Thrashed Rangers 7-1 in their midweek Champions League game
Have beaten City in their last two meetings
Reasons to be fearful:
Defensive record is very worrying
Seem to lack the intensity of previous seasons
While Liverpool continue to achieve positive results in the Champions League, such as their 7-1 hammering of Rangers in midweek, it is their Premier League form that is causing the most concern.
For a Liverpool side to win just two of their opening eight games is a real worry.
Although they have come close to winning some of those other six, the fact of the matter is that they have slipped from where they have been over the past few seasons.
Mo Salah is not scoring enough goals, Luis Diaz is not quite the same player as Sadio Mane, Darwin Nunez has taken time to settle in, the midfield looks a little slow and old, while the defensive line looks short on confidence.
All of that means that they could struggle this season, unless they are to make serious improvements. Against Man City would be the perfect time to do so.
Star Man – Darwin Nunez
The big-money signing is finally showing his quality, and now has four goals in eight games. Can he keep Roberto Firmino out of the team, who has eight goals this season?
MANCHESTER CITY (200 words)
Reasons to be cheerful
Claimed a win and a draw from their last two away games to Liverpool
Can go top with a victory depending on Arsenal’s result
Reasons to be fearful
Several injuries to key players
Liverpool have secured big wins over City in recent seasons
With Manchester City going for all four trophies this season, they will need a full squad of players fit and in form to play all the games.
Coming into this important fixture, one or two injuries have started building in the City camp. The likes of Walker, Stones and Phillips are out here, putting a strain on a team that must play every three days.
Kyle Walker, in particular, poses a problem as he is so key to the way in which City play. Liverpool will no doubt attempt to take advantage of that in the wide areas.
On the whole, however, City are in a good shape. They have found relative success when playing at Anfield in recent times, and their fans will be confident of another win here.
Star Man – Erling Haaland
The prolific striker was given a rest by his manager in midweek, so he should be fit and firing here. He will surely relish the test against Virgin van Dijk here.
Haaland vs. van Dijk is a crucial battle
City’s midfield could overrun Liverpool’s
More than two goals in the match
The battle between Erling Haaland and Virgil van Dijk is one that we’ve been anticipating ever since the Manchester City striker was signed.
With all the goals that he has scored so far, that excitement has only grown ahead of this game, but is van Dijk the player that he once was? His confidence seems low right now, but this could be the game to correct that.
Even away from home, Manchester City are favourites here.
Arsenal outplayed Liverpool last weekend, and City are a step above both of them.
Manchester City to win 3-1
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