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

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Gone Kloppo

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But the reality is that right now, Jordan Henderson has NO FUCKING RIGHT to be anywhere CLOSE to our starting 11. Fabinho is the first name on that team sheet right now,


And its only been 48 hours since Fab put in two cross-field passes to an open Arsenal CF. Imagine him doing that straight to the far more clinical City forwards? Fab has a great future here, but christ there are some verbal, bile-filled turds directed towards 'chosen' players by posters on these forums. If so much hate can be spewed when we are leading the title race by 7 points, imagine when times are tough?? The mind boggles.
 

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LincsRed

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The way we have built up a points cushion at the top of the table makes this one interesting from a tacticians perspective.

A month ago when city were flying and we were plodding along on their tails I would have said tactics and formation for both teams were easy to call.

There are some similarities in what city have to do in the away leg of last year’s CL QF. I wonder if they’ll set up in a similar manner (if they have the personnel). I think that night they effectively had a front four.

We just need to box clever. Compared to last year’s away leg fixture I think we have the defensive nous to deal with them (although after that first goal we shut them out pretty well that night)

This is like one of those top of the table clashes we would dream of being involved in - it gets hyped up by the press but ends up being a full draw because one team takes the sting out of it and does what they need to do to maintain a solid lead

However knowing these two managers it could be fiery!
 

costared

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And its only been 48 hours since Fab put in two cross-field passes to an open Arsenal CF. Imagine him doing that straight to the far more clinical City forwards? Fab has a great future here, but christ there are some verbal, bile-filled turds directed towards 'chosen' players on these forums.

Only last week Henderson got MOTM. He has been playing well recently. Must admit I am a Fabhino fan as well and then of course there is the evergreen Milner and Wijnaldum is having his best ever season . Oh what a joy to have options.
 
C

Caradoc

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Our most important midfield player right now is Wijnaldum ........ no question about that. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Klopp goes with Gini, Henderson and Milner if all three are available. Personally I don’t think the balance is right with all 3 as a midfield unit, particularly with Henderson and Gini together but there you go.

That means Fab, Nab and Shaq on the bench which is quite a bench.
 

Gone Kloppo

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Our most important midfield player right now is Wijnaldum ........ no question about that. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Klopp goes with Gini, Henderson and Milner if all three are available. Personally I don’t think the balance is right with all 3 as a midfield unit, particularly with Henderson and Gini together but there you go.

That means Fab, Nab and Shaq on the bench which is quite a bench.
I am throwing this out there but I think Keita will start if Milly isn't available. Gini and Keita in front of Hendo.
 

Iluvatar

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Pretty nailed on that the 3 in midfield will be Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Milner.

Back 5 and front 3 pick themselves, so there you have the starting 11.

Yours sincerely,

Jurgen.
Why? On form it’s Gini, Fabinho and Henderson. Keita whilst showing glimpses of quality hasn’t done anything to stake a claim. Milners most recent best performance came at right back.

Henderson has been arguably motm in the last 3 games he’s started. Just like Gini.

For Klopp I think he finally has a midfield group that he can drop any 2 or 3 in and they perform. He’s not had that till now. It’s fantastic depth and competition that is fuelling all the players to step up massively.
 
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peter roberts

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4-3-3

Fab and Gini double pivot. Hendo further forward shuttling it about quickly. I've never been Henderson's greatest fan but I understand the complete faith Klopp puts in him for games like this , when he usually rises to the occasion.

Oh , and Milly at RB possibly ?
 

GermanRed

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Its a very good position for us. Man City just have to win. 10 pts in 17 games to catch up isnt impossible, but its not probably
That’s where the FA Mafia with the thug referees comes into play.
- many people still don’t want us to win the title

- and the FA would probably want the league to be as tight as possible.

So remember my words if some scandalous decisions happen on Thursday.
 

Dutch

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That’s where the FA Mafia with the thug referees comes into play.
- many people still don’t want us to win the title

- and the FA would probably want the league to be as tight as possible.

So remember my words if some scandalous decisions happen on Thursday.
Have we ever won an important match when Manchester Taylor is the referee?
 

Maria

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I would like a win, but will be okay with a draw.

I've already got indigestion thinking about this game. The radio pundits are so bigging up this game, as if this is a make or break game for us and Man City.
 

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Iluvatar

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I think the worst we'll get is a draw in this game but a victory is more likely,we could indeed run them fucking ragged as well.
I tend to agree. They could be without Gundogan, De Bruyne, Fernandinho which is arguably 2 of their most important players.

They also need to win, drawing only strengthens us in the title race. Something that will play right into our hands, they really are in a catch 22.. PLay to win i.e. attack and they give us ample opportunities to counter which is our biggest strength, or play it safe and nullify their entire typical strategy.

Their defence is weak, we get at it it will conceed.
 

Wilkored08

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"Every living soul that comes into the stadium has to be ready to fight and give it to them, and we should be able to pull everything out of the locker for that game." - Kompany

lollollollol. Not even sure of the worst part of that statement. That City fans have souls? Or that they are even capable of sitting through 90 mins of their team pay let alone create an atmosphere? Guaranteed the only thing they'll be bothered singing will be the slippy g song, perhaps even before kickoff such is their class.

As for the game, this is a big big game. I think City will see this as a big opportunity to flip the script and do what we did to them last year. They will be up for it. And i think they will create a lot of opportunities. I think we got very lucky at Anfield earlier in the season, but also defended very well. And I think we are going to need a bit of luck again. I think we'll score but I certainly think they will as well.

City aren't in perfect form and we are sky high right now so will be a very interesting game. Won't be as cagey as at Anfield where Pep set up not to lose, which gives us an advantage.

If we lose, i just pray we can bounce back straight away in our next game.
Messrs Company and Pep coming out with big statements about how their morale is, their team is and fans are...yeah,yeah,yeah...why don't you say this all the time....panic statement's
 

Gone Kloppo

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Does anyone know how midwifes/nurses etc feel about fathers streaming football matches during births?

Asking for a friend.
I'm going to be in the same situation probably around our United game. imo just embrace it. You'll likely not have to deal with them (for a while at least). Now your wife/partner on the other hand....Just tell her you are feeling queazy and leave the room/hospital. Get yourself a 'reputation' to be used at subsequent births during footy season.
 

GermanRed

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Swings and Roundabouts. You'd need to truly be one-eyed to suggest we haven't been heavily favoured by refs in our recent clashes with City.
Not sure about recent clashes vs. City tbh but I would say that this season in general many decisions went in our favor.

I could again say that maybe it was to keep the title race a bit tight (at the start of the season it was expected that City will run away with it). Now surprisingly we are no longer the hunter but the hunted and many people would not like us having a 10 point lead.
 



TheSweetSilverSong

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During our last title challenge (13/14), we were top of the table at Christmas, and had to play Chelsea and City back to back. Lost both games and I think it was pivotal to our title challenge, even if we still went on top and challenged all the way later on.

But it was a completely different challenge. One were we had no depth, relied on 2-3 players, had no defensive foundation, and relied to outscore the opponent. One could say pretty much like last season, where we challenged for the Champions League instead, but I'd say that last season had the difference of being a step that would lead us to where we are today. All this before we even mention the difference of class in manager.

This time, we were top of the league at Christmas, and had to play Arsenal and City back to back. Already dealt with Arsenal, emphatically, and now to face our biggest rivals in what is a crucial game. One were we must not lose. But also one where they think they must not lose, or even draw.
I think this will make them more vulnerable at the back, and will put big pressure on them.

There's many things to consider for Klopp, and it remains to be seen what he goes with for the game. I think that for this game, Shaq will be better off the bench as a super-sub game changer if needed. There's also the question whether Klopp keeps the 4-2-3-1, or maybe goes to a 4-3-3.
On the one hand, 4-2-3-1 is something that has worked so well so far this season, and understandably there's the school of thought that doesn't like something that's working to be changed.
On the other hand, there's a few things that may make the change to a 4-3-3 reasonable for Klopp:
1) Pep will be making his plan against the 4-2-3-1 (Salah up top, Firmino behind, etc. etc.). Changing to Salah wide and Firmino top, with the different function of our midfield may be something he's not well prepared for.
2) Firmino is back to his best and probably can do a job up front again, while Fabinho has been a bit clumsy these past couple of games - I think the mistakes he made, if they would be vs City we would have been punished multiple times. At the same time, Henderson played great when he was on - albeit with Fabinho as holding and him further forward. Also, Wijnaldum shines in the double pivot with Fabinho.

Would it make sense to have a Fabinho-Wijnaldum-Henderson midfield trio in a 4-3-3? Or go back to the Champions League Midfield of Henderson-Milner-Wijnaldum (who have done it time and time again vs City)? - The work rate, intensity, pressing, and cover for the full backs proved to be enough with them.
Perhaps adding Fabinho and changing the system if we're ahead and after a time where we can't press with the same intensity (also, can Milner play the full 90 coming back from injury?).


It remains to be seen what Klopp goes for. Me, personally I'd start for 4-3-3 with Wijnaldum, Henderson and Milner (same defence, and the old front 3 with Firmino top, Salah right, and left).
Press the hell out of them, protect the fullbacks, and run their asses off. Now, around the 60th, if plan works and we are ahead, I'd bring in Fabinho for Milner or Henderson (depending on a lot of things) and change the system to control the game. Would allow the midfield players to play with more pressing up until the 60th, knowing they will be able to ease it down after that/be subbed. If the plan doesn't work and we're behind, I'd bring both Fabinho and Shaq and probably change to the formation we've had with Arsenal.

Let's see what Klopp does! In any case, let's use our momentum and play our game, and let's beat them! We surely can do it if we perform to our best!
 

Hope in your heart

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It's surely the midfield which is the most open in terms of team selection. And it's indeed there where the game might be decided.

Hendo will start that one, I'm quite sure. He got 20 minutes against Arsenal, and it's Klopp's way when he thinks about a player on the bench whom he wants to start in the next game. By the way, I can't quite comprehend how anyone can say that it would be a travesty if he starts on Thursday!?! Don't we trust Klopp anymore to make the right choices? Strange, that... especially as Hendo has been excellent lately when called upon.

If Milner is fit enough, he'll start too, no doubt about that. The question is in which position. There is an argument to be made that he should start at right back, which would free up the midfield for Gini (in his current form, he can't be passed upon), Hendo and Fabinho (despite his early mistakes against Arsenal, he played a big role in our win, his physicality offers us something we didn't have before).

Keita won't start, Klopp doesn't yet trust him for this type of games. Same for Shaqiri, who will sit this one out in order to strengthen the midfield and to keep an effective offensive weapon coming on from the bench if needed.

So, my guess if Milly is fit:

Mané Firmino Salah
Gini Hendo
Fabinho
Robertson VVD Lovren Milner
Allisson​

Bench: Mignolet, TAA, Clyne, Keita, Lallana, Shaqiri, Sturridge


Of course, it could be our classical 'big-match' midfield again, with Hendo, Gini and Milner being given the nod, and TAA starting at right back. Will be interesting to see how Klopp decides. It will obviously also depend on everyone's fitness. Fingers crossed that he'll have everyone fit and available.
 

Barnestormer

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Why? On form it’s Gini, Fabinho and Henderson. Keita whilst showing glimpses of quality hasn’t done anything to stake a claim. Milners most recent best performance came at right back.

Henderson has been arguably motm in the last 3 games he’s started. Just like Gini.

For Klopp I think he finally has a midfield group that he can drop any 2 or 3 in and they perform. He’s not had that till now. It’s fantastic depth and competition that is fuelling all the players to step up massively.
I cant say that but he has certainly improved and when he came on against Arsenal looked an entirely different player, some of his first time passes were very quick minded. I just hope we are seeking peak Klopp emerge, and all the players are now starting to play outside of themselves. Thats the step up we needed and have to maintain. Agree on the starting 3 MF.
 

tesh

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That we haven't quite hit top form is somehow comforting - obviously with the hope of doing so sometime around Christmas/New Year. I said it earlier and i'll say it again, if we can stay within a game (possibly two) of MC till Christmas/NY we have a chance of catching them going down the stretch.

By Christmas:
Chelsea will (likely) dip in form and any injuries will bite
Tottenham will fail to scrape wins at some point and injuries (as with Chelsea) will further hurt them
Arsenal will remain inconsistent
MU are playing crap and will carry on doing so and will likely start to drop the points they've been nicking till now

My biggest concern is that MC will not suffer a dip in form. The weakness of the top 6 (barring us) means they will unlikely drop many points. The only hope is that they will be going deep in all competition and may pick up critical injuries. The return game in the New Year is going to be critical though not necessarily fatal to our chances.

This year our ability to win games is less likely to be hurt by injuries and in fact an injury occasionally may be beneficial as it forces a shake up. Results against the top 6 are as usual critical but overall we shouldnt loose too many points against them. The New Years game against MC is looking to be a blessing in disguise wrt timing as it comes early enough to not be fatal but a win would be a huge boost for us and a blow for them.

I remain hopeful!
My biggest concern was totally misplaced! I should have had more faith.
p.s. please excues the self-quoting indulgence
 
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