Sunday, October 2, 2022

How Pep Guardiola Should Lineup His Manchester City Team To Beat Liverpool This Weekend

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Manchester City will entertain Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday evening hoping to close the gap at the top of the Premier League table with a victory at home. Pep Guardiola’s men are enjoying a brilliant run of form after winning four of their past five matches across all competitions. Therefore, the Mancunian outfit will be quietly optimistic about their chances of success when they host the Merseyside heavyweights this weekend. The home team are expected to go with a 4-2-3-1 formation for this upcoming showdown at the Etihad.

Let’s take a look at how Guardiola should lineup his Man City team to secure all three points versus the Reds.

Go With The Dias-Laporte Centre-Half Pairing

Even though both Nathan Ake and John Stones managed to earn a clean sheet in the comfortable 3-0 win over Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League, yet the Mancunian giants should consider lining up with their strongest centre-back duo of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte on Sunday. Both of them are in a rich vein of form at the moment having picked up a well-deserved clean sheet away at Sheffield United last weekend.

Dias’ growing confidence and Laporte’s experience could help them neutralise the threat of Roberto Firmino or Diogo Jota to some extent. Still, it would be up to the full-backs, Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo to stop Liverpool’s Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah from wreaking havoc out on the wide areas.

How Pep Should Lineup His Manchester City Team Vs Liverpool (Man City players are seen in the picture)
Joao Cancelo of Manchester City celebrates with Lukas Nmecha after scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C stage match between Manchester City and Olympiacos FC at Etihad Stadium on November 03, 2020, in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Drop Foden In Favour Of Rodri In Midfield

Phil Foden got a start in midweek but failed to register a goal versus Olympiacos. Maybe, dropping the youngster for a no-nonsense midfield general like Rodri could be the way to go for Guardiola as he would look to stop Liverpool from winning the battle at the centre of the park.

Opting for Rodri to partner Ilkay Gundogan would also allow Kevin De Bruyne to play as a free-flowing attacking midfielder which might be enough for the home side to create enough chances to win the game.

Unleash Gabriel Jesus Up Top

Gabriel Jesus came off the bench to find the back of the net in the UEFA Champions League. Hence, we can expect the Brazilian centre-forward to be full of confidence going into this weekend’s clash at the north-west of England.

Having a natural striker like Jesus instead of Ferran Torres would allow Guardiola to be more flexible with his tactics in the offensive end of the pitch as the South American marksman’s pace will cause all sorts of problems for a Virgil Van Dijk-less Liverpool defence. Torres has scored two goals in his last three outings, so he would be better suited to make an appearance as an impact substitute if Man City require a goal late in the game.

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