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Five changes for City against Liverpool – Manchester City FC

Five changes for City against Liverpool – Manchester City FC

City make five changes from the side that beat Olympiakos in midweek.

Gabriel Jesus starts his second match of the season, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias return after being rested in midweek there are starts for Joao Cancelo and Rodrigo.

Making way are Oleks Zinchenko, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez.

Teams:

City: Ederson, Walker, Cancelo, Dias, Laporte, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Torres, Jesus, Sterling

Subs: Steffen, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Bernardo, Foden, Garcia

Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Jota, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Subs: Adrian, Milner, Keita, Jones, Shaqiri, Origi, Phillips

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Tactics and probable formation

City look to be lining up with a familiar 4-3-3 formation.

Laporte and Dias return in central defence with full-backs Kyle Walker and Cancelo alongside.

Rodrigo will anchor the midfield trio with Ilkay Gundogan and skipper Kevin De Bruyne more advanced.

Ferran Torres and Raheem Sterling will likely interchange on either flank, with City allowed the rarity of a recognised striker to take on the No.9 role in Gabriel Jesus.

Big game for Dias & Laporte 

Make no mistake that this is Ruben Dias’ biggest challenge yet in a Manchester City shirt.

The Portuguese defender has settled in superbly since joining the Club and has contributed to City’s defensive improvements this campaign.

In fact, just three goals in the last eight matches suggests there is a defensive mean streak with City that perhaps wasn’t as prevalent last term.

With Laporte alongside him, they will have to keep Liverpool’s free-scoring forward line quiet if City are win this game.

And stemming the delivery of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold could be key, with Cancelo and Walker in for a busy afternoon.

Jurgen Klopp has selected a very attacking line-up, with Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota selected alongside Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.

It will be interesting to see how that quartet link-up but it suggests Liverpool are banking on attacking a their best insurance policy.

City will look to exploit Van Dijk absence

Take your best defender out of the side and there is a strong chance your team will be weaker.

Liverpool are a formidable side and can carry one, two or maybe three injuries to key players, but Van Dijk’s influence on the Reds is huge.

An organiser, leader and motivator, the Dutch centre-half is the rock of Liverpool’s team and impossible to replace.

Joel Matip and  Joe Gomez are the Reds’ central partnership today – and Messrs Sterling, Torres and Jesus must test them to the full.

Stats and facts

City have won their last three home league games against Liverpool by an aggregate score of 11-1. They can win consecutive top-flight matches against Liverpool for the first time since a run of four victories between 1935 and 1937.

Liverpool have failed to keep a clean sheet in the last 10 league away encounters, conceding 26 goals in total. However, Liverpool are unbeaten in 11 league meetings as the reigning champions since a 3-1 defeat in 1977.

City are aiming to win back-to-back league games for the first time this season.

City have won nine of their past 10 Premier League matches against the reigning champions.

City could go five Premier League matches without scoring more than one goal for the first time in 11 years.

Liverpool have lost four Premier League fixtures in 2020, the same amount as the previous two years combined.

The Reds have won only three of their last nine Premier League away matches (D2, L4), following a run of 16 victories in 17 games.

Liverpool have conceded 15 goals after seven Premier League games, their most at this stage of a league campaign since 1964-65.

The Reds have conceded 27 Premier League goals since winning the title in June, the joint-most of any top-flight team during that period.

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