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Man City vs Liverpool


Rory Fitzgerald

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City were the Premier League's form team winning 5 of the last 6 league games before the QPR game, losing 1 which was away to Sunderland on Boxing Day.

 

They've the 2nd best home record winning 9 of 12 games, drawing 2 and losing to a last minute goal against Utd. They've scored in every home league game this season and scored 2 or more in 8 of the 12 games.

 

We could do with Kompany missing this game because their defensive record at home is very impressive, 6 clean sheets in 12 games and only conceded 9 overall. If you take the Utd game out (given their impressive goal tally this season), they've conceded 6 in 11 games.

 

Hopefully City will give the injury time to heel going by Platt's comments.

 

"It is a concern that it's not a fresh injury," he told reporters.

 

"The calf is the strangest muscle — there is probably more recurring issues with it than with hamstrings, groins and things like that.

 

"And it has happened on a couple of occasions but the concern is to make sure we clear up the problem."

 

We've the 5th worst record for scoring goals against the top 10 teams with 0.8 goals per game whilst City are 3rd with 1.5 goals per game. Its been 11 games since a team kept a clean sheet against us in the league.

[*]Those stats were before the Arsenal game last night.

 

If City score 1st, recent history suggests that we are in trouble as they have W12 and D1. Our record in the league when we have conceded 1st is W0 D3 L6. We have won 1 game from a losing position in the league when we came back from 2-1 down to beat West Ham 3-2.

 

Their team pretty much picks itself. There are 3 positions that are likely to be up for grabs.

 

- Kompany missed QPR and could miss this one. Lescott is likely to take his place. I'm assuming Nastisic will be ok given he was on the bench vs QPR.

 

- Nasri is back in contention and its likely to be him or Milner. I think Garcia will keep his place alongside Barry with Yaya Toure still at the ACN. Rodwell on the bench.

 

- Dzeko (10 PL goals) has started the last few games with the exception of QPR and has been largely partnered with Tevez (7 PL goals) but Aguero (8 PL goals) might come in for either.

 

 

 

Hart

Zabaleta Kompany Nastasic Clichy

Milner Garcia Barry Silva

Tevez Dzeko

 

 

There are arguments to adapt our tactics given the strength of the opposition, their likely style of play and our weaknesses. There are also counter-arguments that are also valid.

 

Reina

 

Skrtel Carra Agger

 

Johnson Henderson Lucas Gerrard Enrique

 

Suarez Sturridge

 

Arguments for

 

  • City's primary threat is generally through the middle. Silva will drop off looking for the ball (and Nasri if he playes), likewise, Tevez/Aguero are likely to drop off to link up those players. Going by our performances this season, I would be worried with a normal set up because there will be lots of movement in those areas and we've conceded some bad goals due to gaps in midfield but also given up goals as players haven't been pressed when they are within 30 yards of our goal.
     
  • Johnson and Enrique can push a bit higher to congest the midfield as Silva/Milner are a different proposition to Podolski/Walcott or Young/Valencia as their starting position is deeper & narrower rather than looking to stretch the play.
     
  • The set up closes off alot of gaps in the middle of the pitch and channels between defenders. Lucas could play a few yards deeper and try eliminate the space between the defence & midfield to try frustrate them.
     
  • We concede 2 or more in a lot of away games and we are facing 2nd in the league. A more considered approach in defence is worthy of consideration.
     

 

Arguments against

 


  •  
  • The last time we played a team with 3 players that like to play narrow & in advanced roles was Chelsea away. We set up with 3 CB's and still gave up chances so its by no means water-tight. However, that team had Wisdom as a CB, Sahin as a CM and Sterling as a CF. We can improve on those 3 positions.
     
  • Yaya Toure said we gave them the run-around at Anfield earlier this season so there are arguments to have a go.
     
  • The system might be seen as too negative. Perhaps some see it as a 'shot to nothing' so we may as well play our game and try get the win.

 

Anthony Taylor is the ref for this. He is from Manchester and has only taken charge of City once before. However, it doesn't appear that this is because of any suspected bias* as he has gotten a few Utd games. He has reffed us twice this season - Newcastle (H) & QPR (A).

 

Random stat about Liverpool, we have tried the most dribbles in the league averaging 22.2 per game compared to the mean of 13.7. Strangely enough, Utd are below the mean with 12.6 per game which surprised me. Suarez has tried 183 dribbles (before Arsenal game) whilst Ben Arfa is 2nd with 110 with Sterling 3rd on 103.

 

*Out of curiousity, I looked up Chris Foy (Merseyside) and I cant see him reffing a game involving either Everton or Liverpool in the past few years

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Reina

 

Johnson Skrtel Agger Enrique

 

Gerrard Allen Hendo

 

Sterling Suarez Sturridge

 

That set up risks Suarez spending another match defending rather than being where he's most deadly. I like the idea of a 352 or a 4411(442), enabling him and Sturridge to remain constant threats.

 

 

---------------------------------------------Reina

 

--------------------------Carragher------Skrtel------Agger

 

---------------------------------------------Allen

 

----Johnson--------------Gerrard--------Henderson---------Enrique

 

------------------------------------------Suarez

 

---------------------------------------------------Sturridge

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Rodgers said in his post match interview last night that Carra starts v City. Thought it was a strange thing to say at that time.

 

Really? That surprises me, 2 matches in a few days, he looked dead on his feet after about 80 last night, we did more defending in that first half that you'd usually expect for an entire match.

 

Though I guess the tactics will be the same, defend deep and hope for a counter, so I can see why.

Edited by Gomez
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Really? That surprises me, 2 matches in a few days, he looked dead on his feet after about 80 last night, we did more defending in that first half that you'd usually expect for an entire match.

 

Though I guess the tactics will be the same, defend deep and hope for a counter, so I can see why.

 

Yeah, Shreeves said it to him that he'll find it hard to leave him out on Sunday and Rodgers obliged by saying he'll start. I think he might have realised that he shouldn't have said that publicly just after.

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That set up risks Suarez spending another match defending rather than being where he's most deadly.

 

 

no it doesn't - it's got Suarez front and central you great Clanger

Edited by Cobs
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I would start with allen lucas hendo and gerrard.

 

Lucas - deep lying defensive midfielder, who s main task is to intercept oppenent s attacks

 

Allen - the pure centralo midfielder - main tasks help lucas close gaps, to orchestrate, keep possession and build attacks

 

Henderson - the engine- main task to pressure ball carrier opponent and make intelligent runs off the ball when in possession

 

Gerrard the attacking midfielder - main task to be the first midfieled shield and make maurading runs and support sturridge and suarez in attack

 

-----------Pepe

----skretl----------------agger-----

-----------------lucas-------------------

-johns---------------------Allen--------enrique

 

----------------Hendo---------------------

------Gerrard----------------------------

 

Suarez-----------------------------Sturridge

 

 

 

 

Solid whilst still potent in attack

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