As reported by Sky Sports, Manchester City have faced a fresh injury blow as Ederson has been ruled out of the clash against Liverpool on Sunday. The Brazilian joins David Silva, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Leroy Sane and Oleksandr Zinchenko, in the list of players, who are unavailable to start against the Reds this weekend.
This could serve as a massive blow for Pep Guardiola. And in this article, we will discuss potential ways the Catalan could tackle this injury crisis.
A more clinical approach?
Manchester City are known for their Juego de posicion style of play. They like to share the lion’s share of possession and pay extra cynosure to the positioning game. As a result, they create a considerable amount of chances in the final third while the presence of gifted players in midfield allows them to execute a smooth transition even when the opposition come at full force.
But, with key players like Laporte, Rodri and Ederson missing, Guardiola may opt for a more direct and clinical approach as far as attacking Liverpool is concerned. Instead of dominating possession, they could try to be more direct in their forward passes.
This is because the trio mentioned above were crucial members of Man City’s build-up from the back. Laporte and Ederson’s excellent technique on the ball helped the Citizens effectively play the ball out from the back while Rodri’s composure and skill would provide additional assurance during possession phases.
But with Bravo playing in goal and Fernandinho deputising for Laporte, Man City’s build-up may not be as sharp, especially against a dynamic first line of press from Liverpool. Moreover, the presence of Benjamin Mendy, who is known for his directness, is ideally suited for a more clinical approach.
Bernardo Silva in midfield?
After enjoying an incredible 2018/19 campaign, it hasn’t been a dream season for Bernardo Silva so far. The Portuguese international has struggled with game-time following the return of Kevin de Bruyne coupled with the impressive performances of Riyad Mahrez.
But, the ex-Benfica man might be tasked with the responsibility of playing in midfield this weekend, in the absence of David Silva and Rodri while Fernandinho is likely to feature in defence. It remains a doubt as to whether or not Silva can perform against a proactive midfield unit of Liverpool, but his ability to link-up with teammates could be useful in the creative department.
A lot will depend on how de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan fare in midfield and how they manage to provide support to the Portuguese. An alternative for Guardiola would be to deploy Phil Foden in midfield, but the youngster’s lack of experience at the highest level of football could be an issue.
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