Both very attacking minded teams, Liverpool and Manchester City will meet in their second game of the season, but how should Liverpool line up against the reigning champions of England?
Liverpool came unbelievably close to winning their first title in 24 years in the 2013/14 season, and although teams were simply unable to cope with their attacking prowess last season, they were perhaps guilty of being weak defensively, and constantly having to score a high amount of goals in order to get past mid table sides like Swansea and Stoke, which came back to haunt them in the important late season clash against Crystal Palace, where they let a 3 goal lead slip, as Crystal Palace fought back to draw the game 3-3. They were also subject to a 2-0 goal loss at Anfield against José Mourinho’s Chelsea side, due to Mourinho tactically overcoming Liverpool, by taking advantage of Liverpool’s attacking notion and “parking the bus”. Taking everything into account, this is how I think Liverpool should line up against the BPL champions.
The Line Up
Mignolet – A solid keeper that performed well against Southampton in Liverpool’s triumph at Anfield in their first game of the season, Mignolet is a good shpt stopper, and definitely Liverpool’s number one choice, although he is sometimes indecisive with coping with crosses and corners, which has cost Liverpool a few times last season.
Manquillo – Manquillo impressed in pre season, and in the opening game against Southampton, and the Atlético Madrid loanee is my choice to play at right back for Liverpool. He has the desire to get forward and help with the attack, and is a solid defender as well. For me, he definitely edges it over Glen Johnson.
Skrtel – Martin Skrtel is a long serving Liverpool player, and started every game since Liverpool’s 3rd game against Manchester United last season. He is a real presence in the box, standing at 1.91 metres tall, and is an all round solid defender, who also has an eye for goal, nothing 7 goals in the Premier League last season. You could argue he is perhaps quite slow, however in my opinion he is a definite starter for the game, with Daniel Agger injured.
Lovren – A summer signing in Liverpool’s summer raid of Southampton, Lovren cost The Reds 20 million, a hefty price tag, however I think he will live up to this price tag, as so far he has shown incredible leadership skills, something we have been lacking, and also has the ability to organise the defence very well. He is a guaranteed starter for the game on Monday night.
Moreno – Another summer addition, Moreno was purchased from Sevilla for 12 million. He is known for his tactical awareness in the final third of the pitch, and has great pace, making him similar to Manquillo, he is the complete full back as he is able to do a consistent job at both ends of the pitch. Moreno is a good edition to an already strong Liverpool squad, and will start on Monday night at The Ethiad Stadium.
Gerrard (c) – Liverpool’s leader and legend, Steven Gerrard is the longtime captain of Liverpool, and has adapted to a deeper role over the last couple of seasons. He does an excellent job at sitting in between the two centre backs, and spraying balls all over the park. He has been criticised for his lack of mobility in the latter stages of his career, however he can still do a great job for Liverpool in a role he is now suited to.
Can – An early summer purchase from Bayer Leverkusen, Emre Can cost Liverpool 10 million. He is known for being a defensive minded player, which is exactly what we need against such an attacking side like City. Although he may be playing slightly in front of Gerrard, it is important Can does a job for defensively, as that is what puts him into my starting line up ahead of Allen. It is also important Can provides an energy to the Liverpool side like his counterpart Jordan Henderson.
Henderson – Jordan Henderson had his break through season last year at Liverpool, after having a difficult time at the beginning of his Liverpool career, due to criticism about what he provides for the team that is worth 16 million. Last year, Liverpool found out exactly what he provided, which was an energy like no other a great passing range and a intent to get stuck in to challenges. Jordan Henderson is a vital player for Liverpool against Manchester City, and many dub him the next Liverpool captain, when Steven Gerrard hangs up his boots. Henderson, for me, has secured a place in the starting 11.
Coutinho – After signing for Liverpool in the January transfer window of the 2012/13 season, Coutinho has been a great attacking option for Liverpool. I think he will play at the “tip of the diamond” for Liverpool against Manchester City. He has a way of finding players in attacking situations, and scored against the champions in Liverpool’s 3-2 win against Manchester City last season. Coutinho could be the spark to provide the difference in this game.
Sterling – Raheem Sterling was one of Liverpool’s stand out players in their great title challenge last season, and has proved he is capable of playing in wide and central areas for the Reds. At just 19 years old, Raheem Sterling is already a top class player who has the potential to be one of the best in the world. He has great pace and great finishing skills at his disposal, and started off Liverpool’s season with a goal against Southampton.
Sturridge – Daniel Sturridge was a key part of Liverpool’s extraordinary season last year, and was part of the infamous SAS strike force, but now Suarez has left Liverpool to sign for Barcelona, Daniel Sturridge has became Liverpool’s main man. Like Sterling, Daniel Sturridge is very fast, and also possesses a great ability to take on players. Signed for just 12 million, Sturridge has been excellent for the reds, and scored in Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Southampton last week.
Thanks for reading about how I think Liverpool should line up for their game against Manchester City. It took me a long time to make, and I appreciate all your support.