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Manchester City v Liverpool - 12.30pm Sat 9th Sept - Premier League Match Preview and MDT
05 September 2017 10:13 Post ID: #605133
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It may be early to be posting the Preview and MDT but I am hoping that it will help purge the effects of the International Break.........

Match Preview

The Premier League is back (thank goodness) this weekend when City welcome Jurgen Klopp’s free-scoring Liverpool to the Etihad for the early kick off.

After the debacle at the end of the Bournemouth match where neither the officials nor the stewards came out very well, the City players will be glad to return to home comforts and their plush new dressing room. Sterling’s late, late winner and his subsequent sending off were the subject of much comment amongst pundits and fans alike with the majority view seeming to consider the action taken by Mike Dean as rather unnecessary and lacking any common sense under the circumstances. What actually bugged me about the whole sorry affair was that after the celebrations and the players returned to their positions, Sterling walked right past Dean who did not even give him a second look. Quite a few seconds passed before Dean then seemed to hear something in his ear-piece, turn around and point at Sterling as to confirm that this was the player the person in his ear was talking about, before walking after then lad and issuing the cards. What?

Surely if he considered the players actions worthy of a card for “over celebrating” it would have been straightforward to issue it when the guy walked right past you? Why wait? Made me wonder what was he told over the radio & by whom? And why, if the player that was to be held responsible had been identified, why wasn’t this information passed to him earlier? All very odd.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if the FA & Premier League adopted the same open mic policy adopted in rugby? Total transparency, clarity and absence of any ambiguity. What’s not to like?

The game of football is SO far behind the times in these areas it beggars belief.

The upshot of all this is that City enter this game once again with their chances of winning the Fair Play League seriously dented (again) - three league games played, seven bookings and two red cards - and will also be lacking the services of Raheem Sterling. Given the dog’s abuse he so unfairly receives from those chronically limited Liverpool fans (whose booing & attitude in this regard is depressing) this may not be a bad thing, however I for one would seriously like the lad to be able to give the performance of his life against them. The hypocrisy of this ‘sign for my club you’re a hero; leave my club you’re a traitor’ attitude drives me batty.

Klopp’s men come into the game having despatched Arsenal last time out with an ease which had the Gooner’s once again calling for Wenger’s head. That didn’t take long. Liverpool have been scoring freely this season, netting 17 times in 6 competitive matches. City’s defence are likely to be tested so we need to hope that Vincent Kompany’s withdrawal from the Belgian World Cup qualifier this week was precautionary. The defensive insecurities which emerged last season were largely a result of the lack of stability which his frequent absences caused. With three new full/wing backs still being integrated into the defensive unit the last thing that is needed now is the added layer of disruption and uncertainty created when planning for the upcoming fixture is shrouded in doubt over availability.

Last time out for City there were promising signs from new signings Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo. Silva took a while to settle into the game but he looks a real talent; Mendy clearly wasn't match fit but he still managed to deliver some super crosses. The pace of the league perhaps took him a bit by surprise - he got caught out inn e centre circle late in the game, a mistake which could have proved very costly against a better finishers, but I think he will do well. Danilo provided the cross for Sterling’s dramatic winner (not convinced it took a deflection at all by the way) and looks to have a quality that will add to the team. Doubtless the big debate will be about Pep’s offensive choices. Will he dare leave Aguero on the bench again and risk the inevitable headlines and criticism that will follow if he starts with Jesus alone up front? I am not sure Pep cares one way or the other but you can bet the hacks will be asking this question at his press conference as they desperately try to seek cracks in the relationship between player and manager.

City haven’t fared well against Liverpool in recent seasons with the only victory in the past six meetings coming in the 2016 League Cup Final thanks to the heroic penalty saves of Big Willy. Last time out at the Etihad it took a penalty for Liverpool to break the deadlock and a goal from Aguero (his fifth successive goal at the Etihad against them) to secure a share of the points. This was despite chances going a begging and the failure of Michael Oliver to award a penalty for either a push on Aguero early on or the more blatant foul on Sterling by Milner as the former Liverpool player was about to score. We await with interest how Jon Moss will fare. Odds on City finishing the game with ten men for the third match in a row?

A more clinical showing and a better result is needed this time out if City are to maintain their challenge for the title - not only because of the points at stake but because it now that this side is becoming Pep’s and it needs to start putting markers down against top teams. Liverpool will not sit back and so there can be no excuse of having to try and prise open the packed defensive lines we have witnessed elsewhere.

If there was ever a time to make a statement then this could be it. With the Sky analysis team doubtless packed with ex-Liverpool players (Rednapp & Souness for sure?) it would be oh so nice to make them sit up and watch Pep’s side in full flow.

Come on City!!!


Opponents - player to watch

Sadio Mané - the 25 year old Senegalese midfielder has netted three times already this season in the Premier League - the sort of goalscoring from midfield which can help sides win things.

Tactical highlight

Liverpool have so far averaged 21 tackles per game in the league so far this season. That is almost three times as many as City.

Match Officials

Referee - Jon Moss
Assistants - Eddie Smart; Andy Halliday
Fourth Official - Craig Pawson

Stats** comparison - 2017/18 Premier League:-

Manchester City

Goals per game - 1.3
Avg Possesion - 65.6%
Pass Accuracy - 86.7%
Shots per game - 17.3
Tackles per game - 11.7
Discipline - 7Y, 2R

Liverpool

Goals per game - 2.7
Avg Possesion - 55.9%
Pass Accuracy - 80.5%
Shots per game - 18.3
Tackles per game - 21
Discipline - 6Y, 0R

**Stats courtesy of Whoscored.com

Team News

City

The international break provides it’s usual concern with Vincent Kompany withdrawn from the Belgian side with a slight knock. Ideal. Gundogan could potentially make the bench. This week’s suspended player is Raheem Sterling. The sweepstake is now open as to which City player will next be on the FA’s Naughty Step.

Liverpool

Lallana, Clyne (still not forgiven him for his poor tackle on Aguero early in the 2012/13 season whilst playing for Southampton) and Bogdan will all be watching from the stands. Their new signing Oxlaide-Chamberlain could be in for a start in central midfield. Wonder if he will have a word with Miner before the game? After all…..James ‘I’m not bitter’ Milner left City to play in central midfield but has made the left back position his own.

Potential starting XI, subs & formation

Ederson

Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy

De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Silva D

G Jesus, Aguero, Sane

Subs:-

Bravo, Mangala, Danilo, Toure, Silva B, Gundogan, Diaz

Note - I got through the whole thing without mentioning the Transfer Window saga......D'oh
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05 September 2017 12:57 Post ID: #605138 - in reply to #605133
Commander in Chief
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Just looking at the playing stats the dippers are on fire and we don't do tackles. We need an early goal to help settle us down. Yes we need to win this match, but I have my worries about this one.
May put some cash on the draw.
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05 September 2017 16:05 Post ID: #605145 - in reply to #605133
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Of course it remains to be seen whether Wantaway star Coutinho will feature for the dippers. Will they let him back in the changing room? If he does play will his fans give the guy the same abuse that they mete out to Sterling?
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05 September 2017 18:09 Post ID: #605153 - in reply to #605133
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Awkward game - they look good going forward but then again so do we.

Re our disciplinary record - the irony is that we are far from being a 'dirty' side, if anything there are times when we could do with some steel in the side.

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05 September 2017 18:15 Post ID: #605154 - in reply to #605133
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Shirley a home win ?
PG wont play into Klopps plan again, will he ?
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06 September 2017 00:28 Post ID: #605167 - in reply to #605133
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D Silva played 88 minutes on Sat and 45 minutes last night. May need a rest. Granted last night was a training session. No wins last season against Spuds, Lpool or Chelski and caught the rags cold at the swamp. So really need to be up for this if we are serious for the title. A win for the dippers and they will revive the News of the World to cope with the chest beating.

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06 September 2017 05:35 Post ID: #605168 - in reply to #605167
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Sky have done a summary for each club on how much game time the players had. Scroll down to City (there's a betting ad in the middle beware).

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11661/11020411/how-did-your-...

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06 September 2017 19:12 Post ID: #605182 - in reply to #605133
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We haven't been very convincing early on. It's time lay down a marker or we may be headed down he same road as last campaign.
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07 September 2017 18:51 Post ID: #605210 - in reply to #605133
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An interesting tactical take on Saturday's game

https://realsport101.com/news/sports/football/manchester-city-vs-liv...
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07 September 2017 20:46 Post ID: #605211 - in reply to #605210
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Skoorb - 7/9/2017 18:51

An interesting tactical take on Saturday's game

https://realsport101.com/news/sports/football/manchester-city-vs-liv...

Very interesting.

We have to somehow keep Mane quiet. He is, imho, their best player by a country mile.

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08 September 2017 07:15 Post ID: #605215 - in reply to #605133
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Premier League facts:-

Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 matches and have been undefeated in all of them.

City are undefeated in their last 13 home matches & have scored at least 2 goals in 7 of their last 8 matches.

Head-to-Head (last 6 meetings):-

EPL 19-03-2017 FT Man City 1 : 1 Liverpool
EPL 31-12-2016 FT Liverpool 1 : 0 Man City
EPL 02-03-2016 FT Liverpool 3 : 0 Man City
EFLC 28-02-2016 FT Liverpool 1 : 1* Man City
EPL 21-11-2015 FT Man City 1 : 4 Liverpool
EPL 01-03-2015 FT Liverpool 2 : 1 Man City

*City won on penalties
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08 September 2017 11:06 Post ID: #605219 - in reply to #605133
Chief Forum Editor
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Another brilliant review Skoorb, news on Kompany, reports say he is doubtful and
Liverpool are a fast side and If pep sticks to three at the back(Stones, Mangala & Otamendi) we may just get thumped again by Klopp the nemesis of Pep, by exploiting the gaps left by our flying full backs.

As is always the case in any game, If you don't take your chances, you will regret it, Liverpool will up their game for us, but can we do the same and another problem is that our new guys are still bonding and this game may come too soon, as we have struggled to hit the ground running or in fact the back of the net to some satisfaction.

Personally I am glad RS7 is not playing, he always seems to left the Dippers fans get to him and he tries too hard to impress so maybe the suspension is a blessing in disguise.

I can't fault Skoorb's selection, lets see how close he gets to it or maybe Pep will go defensive for once but I doubt it and hope that we score early doors and have the game sewn up by half time.
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08 September 2017 12:02 Post ID: #605222 - in reply to #605133
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Could be a pulsating game &!one I may have to watch from between my fingers or crouched behind the sofa

Some good points there Buzz - my onlysecond thought abour the line up is regards whether Bernardo Silva may get the nod ahead of Sané. Bernardo showed something of his capabilities once things settled down against Bournemouth and Pep may favour starting with him.

This will be the first time we will seen both Walker and Mendy play together after the former returns from his undeserved suspension. I hope Pep doesn't opt for three central defenders - word is that Kompany is unlikely to feature as he commences his first injury spell of the current season He needs this to really be a precaution because frankly, good as he is & much as I admire him and what he brings to the club, the constant disruption caused by him being in and out of the side could well threaten to undermine Guardiola's tenure at the club.

Another interesting take on the fixture

http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/klopp-approach-could-bring-out-the-b...
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08 September 2017 12:37 Post ID: #605223 - in reply to #605222
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Spot on regarding Kompany and it was not addressed early enough in the window for me. I wonder if they will go back in for Evans in January and leave Sanchez for summer on a free.

I get the feeling that pep does not fully believe in Mangala because he lacks consistency in his game or the fact that he cannot play Pep's style.

Time to try Tosin? how is the lad going to get experience if you don't play him and Pep joins a succession of managers at City reluctant to blood youngsters to any degree.

OK, so we didn't get a replacement for this exact scenario, but now is the time for Stones and Otamendi to step up and say we are worth the money City have spent on us. No excuses that your fullbacks are too old.

These games I find easy to watch better at the Etihad than on TV and may just record the match and maybe watch it later if my nerves can stand it this early in the season.
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08 September 2017 13:16 Post ID: #605224 - in reply to #605133
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Less than 24 hours out and my nerves are already in the shredder

Mangala is a conundrum. Loaned out last season and clearly retained only because deals did not come off he must not exactly feel that he has the confidence of his coach - hardly a situation which will inspire him with the confidence he will need when he is asked to step up. The reluctance to give the youngsters a geniune chance to step up is puzzling. I recall being amazed when Nastasic started in the Bernebau against Real Madrid under Mancini. A little more faith & confidence needs to shown in the current young EDS stars that have been allowed places in the squad.
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08 September 2017 13:32 Post ID: #605225 - in reply to #605133
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Bit of a difference between Nastasic who had 50 senior appearances under his belt than an EDS kid who's never played big boy football.

If we're going to say that Nastasic playing is a manager giving youth a chance then we've got to say the same about Jesus playing under Pep.
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08 September 2017 14:28 Post ID: #605227 - in reply to #605133
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This is true. Nastasic not quite as raw as I had remembered. Memory upgrade required.
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