Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah



Posted Wednesday, April 04, 2018 by Thesun.co.uk

THIS wasn't the dream draw for either club.

As a player you'd rather be up against Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern. Big clubs. Great atmosphere. Real excitement.

Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp will go head-to-head in Champions League

Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah
Real Madrid and Barcelona are opponents both would have preferred to face

Both Liverpool and Manchester City know everything about the other side. How the coach thinks. What the players try to do.

Liverpool have beaten City once and have improved in the second half of the season. Virgil van Dijk has strengthened them at the back. They are more compact and secure.

But City are 18 points ahead of them in the league. That shows the quality they have.

Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah
Mohamed Salah has been sensational since joining Liverpool from Roma

Mo Salah is the best striker in the Premier League this season. He has been brilliant, using the space to show his quality.

I saw him doing the same with Roma and last summer I could see why Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp felt he needed him.

He is fast and able to inspire his team and is so dangerous off that right wing.  For me he's the best right-sided attacker in the world right now.

Klopp knows how to motivate players. He speaks to them individually, gets their confidence up, makes them believe and grow in quality.

He makes his players feel happy. And they then take that happiness on to the field. He builds that into them.

KEEPER KEY

Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah
Ederson has been superb since joining Manchester City from Benfica

Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah
Loris Karius has been improving in goal for Liverpool this term

This could be an amazing contest but the  goalkeepers could prove to be the key.

That's where Liverpool have a problem. Loris Karius has made himself first choice but I know that Liverpool are still looking for a new No 1 for next season.

Klopp has defended Karius but he recognises that, as a keeper, he is not at the highest level.

Ederson has been terrific for City. He makes the big saves and his distribution is fantastic. He gives them the edge, for me.

PRESS IT UP

Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah
Liverpool's exciting attackers: Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino

We all know Liverpool can press but Guardiola has always done it as well.

City will still try to play their way out from the back, with short passes. That cost them at Anfield in January and Liverpool will look to disrupt them early to create chances.

City will not change. Pep has his system. But Ederson will know when he has to send the ball longer this time.

VERDICT

Liverpool vs Man City: Champions League clash can be won through keepers, pressure and Mo Salah
Manchester City have world class strikers in Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus

The biggest difference is that City have more players who could play for any team.

Liverpool are in the right frame of mind to win the first leg. But I don't think they are quite good enough to win the tie. It will be Liverpool 2 City 1 but after the second leg City will go through. And they are good enough to go on and win the Champions League.



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