PRE MATCH: Manchester City vs Liverpool (EPL), Thursday January 3rd 2019, 20:00

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nobluff

Official TIA Match Thread Starter
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Liverpool's form for the last 5 games is like a bunch of W's playing leap frog with each other, and it's not bedtime yet, so let the game continue - WWWWW - 15 points, 3 home wins, 2 away wins, 3 clean sheets, 2 goals conceded, 18 goals scored. Yes, Liverpool are still the only unbeaten side in the EPL, 54 points and counting. Liverpool are still the only side to have goals conceded, in single figures, and the closest rivals in goals conceded, have conceded exactly 100% more goals. We are top of the league by 7 points, with a slightly superior goal difference, so we have started to build that lead as well.

Man City are back to 2nd in the league. The form for the last 5 games is not that of a top 5 team, let's keep it that way - LWLLW - 6 points, 1 home win, 1 home loss, 1 away win, 2 away losses. They have only scored 9 goals while conceding 9. City have a goal difference of 38 (2nd in the league), and currently have the joint 2nd best defense in the EPL, at 16 goals conceded. They have scored the most goals, yet they seem to prefer being 2nd for most things. City is clearly a huge rival to what we all want to accomplish.

Liverpool have no new injury concerns, while city's De Bruyne "might" miss the game, while some other players are making a timely return to fitness. Delph is suspend.

This will be a game of City possession, and Liverpool hitting them on the break with viscous intent. I am sure that they feel, that they have to win this game, even a draw will be seen as a loss. The pressure of knowing what they have to do, is going to get to them. City never had this type of pressure on them when they strolled to the title last year. The city supporters will start getting nervous if things do not go their way, and this is going to translate into even more pressure on their players.

I just don't know what the lineup is going to be, and that's why I get two guesses.

Code:
           Alisson
TAA   Lovren     Virgil   Robertson
         Henderson  Gini
   Mane     Firmino      Keita
            Salah
or maybe

Code:
           Alisson
TAA   Lovren     Virgil   Robertson
         Henderson  Fabinho
   Mane     Firmino      Keita
            Salah
I am going for a hardcore 0-2 Liverpool win. I don't mind more goals for us, I just don't want to concede any.
 

sms1986

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Our players will have been 100% focused on this match since the final whistle yesterday and they will be very much looking forward to it. We generally have a very good record against City and whilst they'll be tough opponents, I can't see us losing (although it wouldn't be the end of the world). Probably going to be a close match and I don't think it'll have a load of goals, so I think we win this 2-1.
 

Red over the water

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Thank you for the run of opening posts - much appreciated!

I agree that Man City will feel more pressure. They are at home and seven points behind, so they really need a win. A win for us leaves them with a mountain to climb. A draw is still a good result for us. A Liverpool loss puts them right back in it, but even their best case scenario leaves them still trailing us by four points.

I expect a fairly cagey game, with lots of Man City possession, and as they probe away they know that we are the one team who is expertly set up to punish them, rapidly, once possession changes. It will all add to their nerves.

I haven’t got a clue what the midfield will be. I’d like to see Keita start as he can dribble past them and open it up. I think I’d like to see Fabinho in there too, probably alongside Wijnaldum; but to be fair they have all done well when called upon.

1-3

Silva for them, Mo, Mane and Keita for us.
 

redaderry

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I think oul cuddly balls Pep might try and pull a fast one this time and go all guns blazing for glory. They have a score to settle with us from last year's CL and Oasis need this to sustain their high level of arrogance. Fernandinho will probably be on to cause damage in midfield so i think we will have it tough.
I still can't see past a win for the Redmen, someting like 3 - 2.
 

1dragon

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So, Fernandinho makes a return and Man City starts to win again. Are they really so reliant in this man? I will opt to start Fabinho to give his countryman a taste of his own medicine. Another dilemma is the RB position. Iwobi exposed weaknesses in TAA's game again (although Robertson also got beaten a couple of times). Sane has far more ability than Iwobi and Aguero is not as charitable as Aubameyang. So should Clyne start to provide some stability? It could be a real possibility.

Alisson
Clyne-Lovren-VVD-Robertson
Fabinho-Henderson
Mane-Firmino-Kieta
Salah

It will be entertaining for the neutrals, but nervous for both sets of fans and players alike.
 

Alright Now

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Thank you again, @nobluff . Another terrific, informative, hopeful, and hair-raising preview. I know you are investing time researching and writing these, but we are all grateful.

I happen to think we see your first line-up scenario. Gini has become invaluable and Hendo is relatively rested. I usually never think much about the importance of the first goal, and our response against Arsenal should reinforce that. However, in this case, if we score first and early...

Come on you Reds!
 

Barnestormer

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Very much a tough game to call and foresee; could go either way actually. I expect we'l be unsettled several times either by shenanigans or some resurrected Man C form. How we come out of that will be the test for us; but good recent signs of rebounding very fast and brutally. Unusually I sense Klopp may keep it very tight, perhaps swapping out Trent and asking both FB's to tuck more often. Hendo and Gini must start for me, along with all other usual starters; perhaps Milner figures at RB once again. ShaQ with probably be unlucky to start on the bench, when against Arsenal he really sat up to the plate, and should be a first 11 player by now. For no reason I can explain I think we're going to win, but only after much incident and, regrettably, I think we might concede a couple at worst. Oh, and it will probably be a game of many cards. Errrrrr.........2-4, then.
 
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C

Caradoc

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This is a match that Man City simply have to get something from - even if its a draw so that they don’t fall any further behind us.

They won’t be able to approach the match the same way they did the one at Anfield earlier this season. They clearly fear us, including Pep himself.

I just hope we have an official who is alive to Fernandhino’s shenanigans. Its quite ludicrous what he gets away with compared to most other players in the EPL.

I’d be happy to take a draw from this one although a win would obviously be perfect. City need the 3 points far more than we do at this stage so making sure they don’t get them is imperative.
 

yiannos33

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The pressure is all on them. They need a win or they’re 10 points behind. Draw and they’ll be 7 points back.
Anything but a loss will be a positive for us. We need to be patient and take our chances and we’ll take all points.
They’re shitting themselves already.
 
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Joe Gomez x

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This is it! Perhaps at the end of the season looking back on our league campaign (no matter the final result) we will agree that this fixture made or broke our title win. This is the big one, we either bury the Manc's or open the door to allow them in to the title challenge. Praying for a win but this will be tight and stress enducing for us Liverpool fans.
They look weak at the back with Delph gone and Walker looking like he's out of favour (expecting Pep to start him though), with Kevin De Bruyne possibly out I rate our chances even more. Just praying for an early one to make them come at us ,leaving them exposed at the back. If Salah is on form he will rip Zincheko up and that will be crucial for a victory.
My team is Clyne to be introduced to deal with the threat of Sane as he is more defensively stronger than TAA and also to include Hendo as he shows up in these big games.
We will need to be compact at the back and for us to be solid and then ruthless on the counter.
My prediction is a 2-1 win. YNWA
 

GermanRed

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So, Fernandinho makes a return and Man City starts to win again. Are they really so reliant in this man? I will opt to start Fabinho to give his countryman a taste of his own medicine. Another dilemma is the RB position. Iwobi exposed weaknesses in TAA's game again (although Robertson also got beaten a couple of times). Sane has far more ability than Iwobi and Aguero is not as charitable as Aubameyang. So should Clyne start to provide some stability? It could be a real possibility.
Pep always targeted out RBs with diagonal balls in the last few games - both TAA and Gomez struggled at times but I think Trent had Sané in his poket in the two CL Games. Would go so far to say that Trent did cost Sané his place in Germany’s WC squad as it did take him some time to regain his confidence.

I would be much happier if TAA starts over Clyne.
 

GermanRed

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Can’t see Shaqiri start this one because we will need 3 'defensive' midfielders to shield our back - especially our Full Backs.

City are attacking with their front 3, their Full Backs and two very attacking midfielders (usually The Silvas) while Fernandinho shields their CBs.

Alisson
TAA Lovren VvD Robertson
Wijnaldum Henderson Fabinho
Salah Firmino Mané

I‘m expecting Wijnaldum to help TAA a lot.
 

Nur der BvB09

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Well those Kind of games are quite unpredictabel.
Maybe anyone of you ll have a laugh at me but i m seeing a hardcore game with plenty of Goals but only in the City s goal.
We ll beat them with at least 5 Goals margin!Up the REDS
 

JustHitMyHead

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So, Fernandinho makes a return and Man City starts to win again. Are they really so reliant in this man? I will opt to start Fabinho to give his countryman a taste of his own medicine. Another dilemma is the RB position. Iwobi exposed weaknesses in TAA's game again (although Robertson also got beaten a couple of times). Sane has far more ability than Iwobi and Aguero is not as charitable as Aubameyang. So should Clyne start to provide some stability? It could be a real possibility.

Alisson
Clyne-Lovren-VVD-Robertson
Fabinho-Henderson
Mane-Firmino-Kieta
Salah

It will be entertaining for the neutrals, but nervous for both sets of fans and players alike.
TAA has coped with Man City quite admirably a few times already. I would actually be more concerned with whether Clyne is back to his best yet, having seen so little of him - so wouldn't play around.

Against Arsenal, I believe many of TAA's and Robertson's struggles came because they were perhaps asked to aggressively push forward much more than usual given Arsenal's defensive crisis.

Whether they are asked to do the same against Man City is doubtful, as like you said, we would more likely be punished by Sane and Aguero. If both are less aggressive I believe we will see a much better defensive performance.

I may be against a Milner-Henderson-Wijnaldum midfield... but I like the idea of having 2 of 3 versus teams like Man City! If Milner is healthy, I would have him and Henderson partner Fabinho.

Man City will need to attack us. They can't afford a loss... and a draw is not ideal for them either. They'll be far more nervous than us!
 

GermanRed

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I may be against a Milner-Henderson-Wijnaldum midfield... but I like the idea of having 2 of 3 versus teams like Man City! If Milner is healthy, I would have him and Henderson partner Fabinho.
Think you’re underestimating the importance of Wijnaldum. First midfielder on the team sheet and he doesn’t even have to improve his performance level - if he can keep it where it is at the moment he could soon be undropable like Alisson, VvD, Robertson, Salah, Firmino and Mané.
 



Incognito

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Can’t see Shaqiri start this one because we will need 3 'defensive' midfielders to shield our back - especially our Full Backs.

City are attacking with their front 3, their Full Backs and two very attacking midfielders (usually The Silvas) while Fernandinho shields their CBs.

Alisson
TAA Lovren VvD Robertson
Wijnaldum Henderson Fabinho
Salah Firmino Mané

I‘m expecting Wijnaldum to help TAA a lot.
Agree with this line up. Hendo will surely start and he has looked so bright in the last cameos, Gini to start as well I suppose as he was withdrawn and has been immense himself. Question is of third mid and Keita playing after not featuring for a while doesn't makes sense - could be Fab again.

I hope Milly is fit again? Wouldn't mind him instead of Fab as well, he protects TAA pretty nicely and will be pumped up against city as he always is.

They'll get a penalty, see the huge Becker in goal, get scared shit and miss it like last time - we get pissed off with the referring and thrash them ala Arsenal...


..Or a boring 0-0 draw - any would do :rolleyes:
 

gasband

The Singaporean Liverpool Never Managed To Sign
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Technically we can drop points and still be top but why would we want to do that? City is still going to be our top competitor. Matches against them cannot be approached with just about points. As I said for Arsenal, our competitors have to be conditioned and taught lessons that this current Liverpool side will always find a way to win, it's futile for them to even try. In short, their self belief needs to be destroyed.
 

hugo the horrible

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We can do this,sure we’ll play to win,the fact we can,theoretically afford to draw is not an option that the lads will have ,they and Klopp have been spelling it out.
We will have our strongest side out there,and just now the makeup of that team
will be a pleasant headache for Klopp to have.
We are pretty well unstoppable when the lads are on song.
 
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