Liverpool v Manchester City is easily the biggest game in English football at the moment. Both teams are on top form, have top managers, and it’s hard to separate them. However, for Pep Guardiola, the game is a tactical nightmare due to the lengthy list of Manchester City injuries.
Manchester City Injuries Causing Nightmare for Pep Guardiola
All Rosy in the Reds’ Corner
From a Liverpool point-of-view, they can look forward to the game. It’s not a must-win for them as they already have breathing space at the top. A win would almost destroy any title hopes that Manchester City have, a draw keeps them with a comfortable points cushion, and a loss would still see them at the top of the table. Also, with a squad almost injury-free, Jurgen Klopp can field a full-strength team. Therefore, the Reds will be confident of a win.
Manchester City Injury Woes
On the other side of the fixture, Manchester City look to be in real danger of losing their crown. The team is carrying a lot of injuries to key players and will need a tactical refresh ahead of the most important fixture of their season. It is astonishing to think that Manchester City’s strength in depth is being called into question with the amount of money they have spent, but Guardiola‘s side looks to be in dire straits.
Guardiola’s line-up will likely feature some tactical surprises due to losing some key squad members to injury. Ederson is the latest to join the injury table with a potential thigh injury that will see him miss the Liverpool game. Ederson’s injury is not too bad though, as Claudio Bravo can step in. However, the injuries sustained by Rodri and Aymeric Laporte have caused a real issue.
Pep Guardiola has to make a choice on where to play Fernandinho. At centre-back, he provides cover with John Stones but that would leave their midfield lacking a natural defensive-lynch-pin. If Guardiola decides to partner John Stones with Nicolas Otamendi, that leaves Fernandinho free to play in midfield. However, Stones and Otamendi have been poor when paired.
What to Expect
Guardiola will have to make some tough decisions about his line-up and the formation due to the list of Manchester City injuries. To stop Liverpool, you need to be able to corral their full-backs. In doing so, it is likely the front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will find space. Therefore, stopping Liverpool is easier said than done. Manchester City’s best chance lies with their forward line. With a potential problem at centre-back and defensive midfield, Guardiola will have to rely upon his forwards to bring success. Fernandinho will continue as a make-shift centre-back, Ilkay Gundogan will take his place in midfield and Bernado Silva will be played centrally.