Big spending Liverpool host even bigger spenders Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday afternoon in a highly anticipated encounter.
Liverpool still need to prove themselves as genuine title contenders or risk being cut adrift from both Manchester clubs. Under “King” Kenny Dalgliesh, Liverpool have been doing relatively well, most recently, beating Chelsea at stamford bridge thanks to a late Glen Johnson goal. They have however been somewhat under-performing at home, with an opening day draw against Sunderland, and dropping points against both Norwich and Swansea. Liverpool have bought big over the past year. Most notably paying Newcastle United £35m for England youngster Andy Carroll, who is still yet to prove his price tag at the club (i say this now, i bet he’ll score). One of Liverpools better signings was that of Luis Suarez. Paying £23m to secure him from Ajax, and he has certainly made an impact in the premier league, with his amazing speed of thought and feet, and his ability to create a chance from seemingly impossible positions. Liverpool also over the summer managed to secure the 2 English players Stewart Downing from Aston Villa and Jordan Henderson from Sunderland for £20m each, which at the moment seems a hefty price tag for both of them, especially for Henderson, who is still just a beginner in the league. Liverpool are still hanging onto the history of Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso, as they still haven’t replaced them. They have tried this season in buying Charlie Adam from Blackpool, but he doesn’t have the same effect as either of those two do.
Now Manchester City head into this game unbeaten in the premier leauge, on the back of a 3-1 win against Newcastle United at the Etihad, but their most recent game was a very disapointing defeat to Napoli in the Champions League, more or less ending their hopes of progression in their debut season in the competition. However, the premiership is more suited to City and their style of play, and they can play more freely on the wide Anfield pitch. I believe that Manchester City will play a slightly changed team from the defeat in Naples. Micah Richards and Gael Clichy will return at both full back positions, and Gareth Barry should return in the centre of the pitch. Also, Sergio Agureo and Mario Balotelli should start upfront. But i’m never sure on what Mancini’s mindset is going into the game, and that will definately effect what team he puts out. If he is going to snatch a win, he will play with just the one striker. But if he is continuing with his current plan, he will go out and attack Liverpool,
Last seasons encounter at Anfield finished in a 3-0 win for Liverpool, with two goals from Andy Carroll and one from Dirk Kuyt, however Man City had an FA cup Semi Final against Manchester United 3 days later, so it is accepted that they had their focus elsewhere.
I see this being a close game, with both teams showing their attacking strength, but with Liverpool being weaker than City at the back, i believe that this game should end in a pretty convincing win for the boys from Manchester.