Arguably the tie of the round, Liverpool vs Man City is sure to be a spectacle of attacking football prowess from two of the highest scoring teams in Europe, Liverpool with 75 and Man City with 88. There’s no denying that the footballing styles of both managers is a “we’ll score more than you” mentality, which is sure to please the neutrals.
The Underdogs Can Bite!
Liverpool are considered the less likely to make it through the tie with the bookies offering odds of 9/4 compared to Man City at 1/3.
As we know though, Liverpool should never be written off, even if they do have to overcome the runaway league leaders. Man City could win the league with five games to spare next weekend against rivals Man Utd.
However, it is fair to say that Liverpool have a rich history when it comes to Europe’s most illustrious event, having overcome big teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid over two legs in the past. You might say that those games were of a different era and that they don’t really matter. The fans and the club will believe that the past, and their experience of the highs and lows of the competition, is extremely significant; especially against a team with no real Champions League pedigree.
The Egyptian King may have his say
Mo Salah, with 37 goals in all competitions so far is Liverpool’s biggest threat. He has been prolific in the league this season and is running away with the golden boot, five goals ahead of Harry Kane. His confidence levels are high and this is undoubtedly having a significant impact on the rest of the team. He relishes playing against teams who like to attack as that allows him more space on the counter, it is certainly set up to give him plenty of chances.
City’s Domestic Dominance
Man City have run away with the league this season, and that is no easy task in such a competitive league. Their attack has worked extremely well together, even with injuries to key players at different points in the season. Players such as Sterling, Aguero, Sane, De Bruyne and Silva would have no problem fitting into any attack in the world, and it’s hard to think of any players from other teams you would choose to replace them.
The Belgian Magician
De Bruyne, who has every chance of winning the PFA award for player of the season has been crucial to Man City this campaign. His ability to make keys passes and runs from the middle has allowed the rest of the attack to benefit. Whilst he may not be top of statistical leaderboards like Salah, it is hard to deny his ability to split defences and provide moments of magic in key games. If De Bruyne is on form during the two legs, the shaky Liverpool defence will certainly have their hands full.
Two Legs May Make a Difference
Whilst Liverpool have played Manchester City in two legs before, this season it is different. Man City blew Liverpool away in their first meeting this season by five goals to nil. The second game at Anfield was a different story, 4-3 was the final result, but in truth, Liverpool dominated that game. One thing is for certain, there will be goals, potentially lots of goals. Both teams like to play an attractive attacking game, and this tie is set up to be a showpiece and a brilliant advertisement to the event.
Who do you see coming through the tie?