Author Topic: Match Preview: UCL QF 1st Leg Liverpool v Man City [4 April 2018, K.O 19:45 GMT]  (Read 61791 times)

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Date: Wednesday 4 April 2018

Kick-off: 19:45

Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside, England


I was with you all on the start of this journey with the preview for the Hoffenheim games, so it is only right I am here for the end also. But first I figured I should brush off my preview writing cobwebs with these manc no marks before begging Tito Camara to let me have a crack at the final in Kiev against Barca!!

I'll be honest, I knew we would get City. I figured it would be in the Semi Finals but once I saw all the other English sides knocked out leaving just us, it was just inevitable - just as drawing their uglier big manc brother who has more 'hairitedge' in the Europa a couple seasons back.

So here we are - our first UEFA Champions League Quarter Final since the days of Rafa Benitez. And much like the start of our Rafa journey, this is starting to feel like our year a little bit. Even down to drawing the oil billionaire club that is dominating the league and being written off before a ball has been kicked. And that is just what some of our own are saying on twatter! There is an air of defeatism about things from a lot of our some. Some of it is legitimate - Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the history of the game in my opinion and this City team is loaded with quality. Some of it not though. I'd like to look at some of the latter but first some facts:-

1. We have only been eliminated at this stage 4/12 times in our history. A 66,7% record.
2. Against English sides in European knockout competition, we have advanced 5/8 times. A 63% record.
3. We have a 100% record against Manc sides in European knockout competition :D

But with the league all but wrapped up, they have a huge advantage as they can give this game their 100% focus
Sure. But that can also be a disadvantage too. In fact it is one of many reasons that Bayern fans believe they have struggled in Europe compared to the likes of the Spanish & English sides who tend to always have someone domestically pushing them to be their best until the very end. Bayern would have their season finished in March and would struggle to hit the intensity needed for the final stages in the European Cup to get the job done.

It can be hard for players to turn on and off that need to win. Often the side who goes into every side with a must win belief can maintain and even push it further as competitions go on. We set a pace and intensity level that most sides cannot live with. If City relax for even a second, they will be in trouble. We will come out of the blocks at a 100mph and they need to be ready for that. The moment they believe in any of their supposed advantages is the moment they become their disadvantages.

But being away in the second leg is a huge disadvantage.
As a general rule, I agree. But then that very quickly swings depending on the result in the first leg. It was an disadvantage for Sevilla until United failed to score. Then it was an advantage as they knew they could score and then United would be in trouble.

Pep's record in this situation in this competition isn't great either.
His Barca in 2010 had this advantage against Mourinho's Inter. Mourinho parked the bus and just gave Barca the ball back rather than have any possession themselves, then nabbed 3 goals on the counter. They couldn't make up the 2 goals at home.
It was again an advantage to him in 2011/12 against Chelsea, but having lost 1-0 at Stamford bridge it meant Chelsea just needed any goal in the Nou Camp and then they were up against it.
Then again in 2013/14 when his Bayern went to the Bernabeu and lost 1-0 to Ancelotti's Madrid. Then got done 4-0 at home in the second leg.
Same thing in 2014/15 where his Bayern lost the first leg at the Nou Camp 3-0 giving them too much to do in the second leg.
And again in 2015/16 when they lost the first leg 1-0 at Atletico, then went out on away goals with a 2-1 win back in Munich.

So home advantage in the second leg doesn't count for anything if you don't get a good result in the first leg to make use of it. With Pep's sides historically, when they lose the first leg away from home is when they have struggled to make best use of that home advantage and ended up out of the competition. So in many ways there is an advantage to them. But in another, there is no advantage at all as if we come out of the first leg with a a 0-0 (unlikely) or any sort of lead to hold onto, then picking them off on the counter back at theirs is a dream come true for this side. So we have nothing to fear.

Ederson is much better than Karius if we go to pens
Ederson career saved 5/23 penalties = 21,7% save rate.
Karius career saved 9/27 penalties = 33,33% save rate.

Karius was something of a penalty expert in his time in the Bundesliga, had the best save rate of all Bundesliga goalkeepers and was in the top 20 in terms of penalty save % in Europe at the time we signed him - the best of all Premier League goalkeepers. Ederson's save % wouldn't even get him into the top 100.

And it is not like he was facing those penalties from no marks either. His saves have come against  Kane, Muller, Huntelaar, Wagner, Reus (his only miss), Salihovic, Di Santo and Immobile. All forwards and first choice penalty takers at their clubs. Whereas City's only player with an above average record from the spot is Aguero I believe.

I have seen it said that his record in one off penalties doesn't matter too much because the pressure is different shoot outs. Nonsense! You want to see pressure, check out this from shootout in a favela in my state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Og-m2ysNsxY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Og-m2ysNsxY</a>

THAT is pressure. :D

Thanks to Capon and his legendary photoshopping skill for providing the banner for this thread.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 01:57:12 AM by BabuYagu »
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Traditional Tactful Tactics Talk Time Topic with the Translating Twat

While the above is all well and good, we still need to beat this Manchester City side - perhaps the strongest side I have personally seen in the Premier League era. So the questions are:-
What do they do that is effective?
How do we stop that shit?
How do we hurt them?

What do they do that is effective?

There are a number of things that this City does well. They win the largest ratio of aerial duels of any side in the league. They have excellent width stretching sides horizontally. They have pace at the top end of the pitch allowing them to stretch teams vertically. They pace in their backline allowing them to play a very high line to compress play in the opposition half. They are loaded with needle players like Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Sane, Bernardo, Jesus, Aguero who are excellent in tight spaces. They are well balanced in midfield with Fernandinho proving an excellent protector of the defence. I could be here all day in this part really. I want to highlight two particular things though here.

1. Using width to create space.
Man City and Liverpool are very similar in many ways tactically. One major difference though is in who provides width, how they use it, who takes advantage of the spaces being created.

Unlike Liverpool, Man City's wide forwards in the 4-3-3 shape are wide. Very wide. They tend to be almost standing on the touchline until the final phase of their attacking play. I remember Henry telling the story of when he was a wide forward for Barcelona and his zones were mapped out using cones in training. In the match, he moved inside in the buildup phase and scored. He was then subbed off for not following tactical instruction.

There are two aims of this in the build up in the attacking phase. The first is to stretch sides horizontally - which will open up the half spaces. De Bruyne and Silva can then move into these areas and pick the opposition apart when Sane & Sterling start making those runs from out to in as they do. The second aim is to bypass the oppositions block with diagonal balls from midfield onto the wings rapidly changing the point of attack. Typically this causes a large shift in opposition players from central to the flank and usually allows a player on the ball-far side to be left in large amounts of space to isolate a defender. We say this a lot at Barcelona with Villa being open on the left. Also at Bayern with Robben on the right.

So one of two things happen as a consequence of that width. The opposition will either open up their shape giving City space, or City can quickly move the ball from outside the block to the deepest point of their attack or even in behind the block if they can split the full back and center back with the right run and pass. But the dangers of this approach doesn't end there because...

2. Ederson is Pirlo
This guy is ridiculous. He almost certainly played in midfield before moving into goal as his awareness, passing range and calmness in possession are all way above anything I have seen before in a goalkeeper. He isn't the best shot stopper in the league - in fact in terms of the xg for just shots on target vs goals conceded he comes out around average in the league. But that isn't why Pep signed him. Pep's system is all about control and penetration. Ederson is just another tool to maintain control and give even greater penetration.
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/l_P5NBdb8rk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/l_P5NBdb8rk</a>

City invite sides to press up on their center backs and goalkeeper. This allows them to stretch the play out and create spaces in midfield and the final third. Unlike most goalkeepers, Ederson is very capable of finding City's front 5 in space over medium-long distances at ease. From goal kicks, they also want sides to press up so they can isolate the back line. Ederson will then play over it with deadly accurate long passes into the final third where City's pacey players are almost guaranteed to win the ball. Or they can force defenders into making back-pedalling headers and win the second balls as the oppositions midfield was stretched out trying to press up.


How do we stop that shit?

We have actually done pretty well in this sense whenever we have 11 men on the pitch against them this season. Remaining compact is crucial to everything Klopp drills us to do and therefore we don't get stretched out. Our full backs all have plenty of pace. Our center backs are all quick across the ground. We don't push up on goal kicks as a team and instead let Firmino & Salah set ambush between defence and midfield.

My worry is Gomez as he tends to struggle on those diagonal balls and has awareness issues. Clyne isn't fit enough to go 1-v-1 with Sane for 90 minutes and Trent lacks experience but would probably be my choice of the 3 for the first match. He will need support though.

But as long as we can stay reasonably compact and maintain good defensive access we should be okay against them. When we have allowed ourselves to be stretched out by City this season, we have got picked apart.

How do we hurt them?
In some ways, this is one area we don't really need to worry about. Pep's entire system is about control. From the players they sign, the way they train, the tactics they use - everything is about control. Klopp's system is all about disrupting control. Which is why his record against Guardiola is better than any manager that has faced him more than a handful of times and the manager who he has suffered the most defeats to despite always going into the games with the favourite of the tie. (Played 12, W5, D1, L6). If you turn the game into a high-paced transition game then that control is gone and anything can happen. City have a lot of talent so they can almost certainly still hurt us here. But it is more in our favour to play in this way and you would expect our lot to have the upper hand here.

In terms of dealing with Ederson, there are two weaknesses I think he has in his game. Firstly, when he is forced to playing things rushed or first time. He is certainly capable of doing so but those moments when things go badly for him all tend to fall under this category. Also, he likes chipping passes out to the full backs and they are ripe for pressing traps when he does. Often the passes aren't that easy to take down and control so the full backs are looking to head them infield to De Bruyne / Silva to build the attack. That is almost certainly an area I would like to ambush them with someone pressing hard on the full back when the ball is in the air and then a second lying in wait to ambush the second ball.

Lastly, their center backs, as good as they are, can be got at too. Stones has a mistake in him when rushed and also seems to have some blindspots where he loses players in. So Firmino will be absolutely vital for us. He always fucks City up with his pressing, movement and clever tactical play in creating quick overloads.

I worry that Milner doesn't have the legs for this match. Also worry about Can's propensity for just switching off or giving up on plays at times. Think Henderson-Gini-Ox might be the group with Firmino dropping in on Fernandinho to give us the 4-v-3 in there.

Excited for this already. Won't be a dull game. I think we take any sort of lead out of the first leg and we will win the tie.
« Last Edit: April 1, 2018, 12:53:16 AM by BabuYagu »
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Offline sms1986

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I hope Anfield on Wednesday is a red-hot cauldron making the City players absolutely terrified! It'll be a close game, I think, but I'm confident of a win in the first leg.

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We could lose the first leg against city 3-0. They’re a superb team..  it wouldn’t be a disgrace in many ways...

But I think we’ve got a reasonable chance... they let you play and we like to play...

I do reckon the second leg being away is the biggest disadvantage.. would be Klopps biggest victory if we get though this round...
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Offline deFacto

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I hope the atmosphere at Anfield is the greatest it's ever been and it eclipses v Chelsea in 2005.

It will be very interesting to see how Klopp sets up in terms of how we start the game. In my mind, we need to start with great intensity from kick off, in the first 20 minutes create the type of pressure to create chances and be clinical. Use the atmosphere to our advantage to go at them full force like we did in that ten minute spell in the 2nd half in January.

Two key factors. How we defend and how we set up in midfield. Trent will be targeted, and City are most dangerous in wide areas, and they have been for years. I just cant see Klopp putting Clyne in [but he will have to either for the 2nd leg or against Everton, it would be madness to have Trent play 4 games in 11 days] so we will have to protect him someway somehow. The plus side is that City don't have a target man in the same way United and Palace do, and create that chance from a flick on header by said target man. But they do have ability to stretch sides and cause all sorts of problems.

City are a side who will not be quiet for the entirety of the match, we have to minimize the type of chances they create because they are very clinical. We also have to take our chances when presented to us, we can't afford to be wasteful in front of goal.

The other major part of this is the midfield. We have to press at a high intensity and for a long period of time, which is why I don't want Milner to partake in this match. He struggled against City when he came on in January, he struggled against Spurs both times. These type of sides, he ends up chasing shadows and his lack of quickness and his slow turning on the ball is majorly exposed. City played without Silva in January, and with him back, we need maximum effort and ability to move and do it efficiently.

Henderson is a starter for certain. The question remains who plays in the other two spots. Can played well enough against City in January, but hopefully he is fit enough to partake. My issue with him is his tendency to be god awful on tracking his man, he does this repeatedly far too often.

Wijnaldum has not played as well as he did last year, he has had a handful of good games, but I think he will be important and will play well [to what he needs to do] in this game if he plays.

So eiher Henderson-Can-Wijnaldum or Henderson-Chamberlain-Can/Wijnaldum.

Any win will do, a win without conceding would be eutopia, a 0-0 wouldn't be bad at all, and a 1-1, I'm confident we can score at their place. However anything more than that in terms of conceding goals or god forbid losing, and it will be an uphill task in the 2nd leg.


We've been waiting for this for 8 years, come on you red men!!

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We could lose the first leg against city 3-0. They’re a superb team..  it wouldn’t be a disgrace in many ways...

But I think we’ve got a reasonable chance... they let you play and we like to play...

I do reckon the second leg being away is the biggest disadvantage.. would be Klopps biggest victory if we get though this round...

Reasonable chance ?  We have more than that mate. I make this one 50/50 all the way. They might be a great side,  but we're fucking electric too when we're on it,
To be honest I don't care about being away 2nd leg I never buy into that theory.  We wont be shitting ourselves going there I wonder if they can say the same.
Haven't looked forward to a game as much in ages,
It's one of those games where absolutely any score wouldn't surprise me, except a 0-0. I quite fancy both teams to win their home game.


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Reasonable chance ?  We have more than that mate. I make this one 50/50 all the way. They might be a great side,  but we're fucking electric too when we're on it,
To be honest I don't care about being away 2nd leg I never buy into that theory.  We wont be shitting ourselves going there I wonder if they can say the same.
Haven't looked forward to a game as much in ages,
It's one of those games where absolutely any score wouldn't surprise me, except a 0-0. I quite fancy both teams to win their home game.


50/50 is reasoanable on my book!

But I’m worried about the second leg away and also away goals...  were in with a good shout though...
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We could lose the first leg against city 3-0. They’re a superb team..  it wouldn’t be a disgrace in many ways...

But I think we’ve got a reasonable chance... they let you play and we like to play...

I do reckon the second leg being away is the biggest disadvantage.. would be Klopps biggest victory if we get though this round...

I would back us to score away though, depends entirely on the score going into that game I think.
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There’s no pressure on us for these games, we can play with freedom, I think we will need a 2 goal lead for the second leg if we are to win-

They’re a brilliant team but we are probably the best equipped to deal with them and the last English team they would’ve wanted to play

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Thanks BabuYagu..........nice way to setup a game that could go either way.

I think we need to win the midfield first and put them on the backfoot. If we let them dominate possession then Sterling and Sane could torment our defenders.

It's hard to predict how this match will pan out but if we can stop them from scoring then we could have a great chance. If Salah, Mane and Firmino play well (which they will) then I can see us winning at Anfield. In fact let's shake up the football world and put the tie to bed at Anfield.
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50/50 is reasoanable on my book!

But I’m worried about the second leg away and also away goals...  were in with a good shout though...

 ;) Fair do's
Aye away goals will be the thing wont they, you'd fancy both teams to score in both games, just a question of how many.  It will be some tie anyway, both teams will go at it hell for leather.  Both teams have come through todays games relatively unscathed too. 




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I'd take a 0-0 and take our chances on a score draw away , booked an early holiday so off away on Monday much to my neighbours delight who has mine and my lads tickets .got to try and watch this somewhere at 2-45 am kick off

Offline deFacto

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I have no idea how I am going to get any work done during the game, and I don't want to take the day off, as everytime I've done that,it's been a bad result so I don't want to jinx it.

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Strangely I don’t think we need to have an advantage after the first leg. Clearly we would all love to have a two goal lead but anything other than a two goal defeat puts us firmly in with a chance.   I can’t see City shutting up shop in the 2ndleg and defending a lead and we are always capable of hitting on the counter.   They also have the small matter of the Utd game which is more significant to them than our trip to Woodoson.   In summary I expect a tight game on Wednesday with few goals.
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Strangely I don’t think we need to have an advantage after the first leg. Clearly we would all love to have a two goal lead but anything other than a two goal defeat puts us firmly in with a chance.   I can’t see City shutting up shop in the 2ndleg and defending a lead and we are always capable of hitting on the counter.   They also have the small matter of the Utd game which is more significant to them than our trip to Woodoson.   In summary I expect a tight game on Wednesday with few goals.

Guardiola said he will prioritize the return leg over their derby, it may be significant to their supporters, but Guardiola doesn't give a damn.

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The important is not to lose AKA the last UCL tie that we had against Chelsea when Ivanovic scored two goal (still hurts). Even a goalless draw is ok. Saying that, I promise I wont complain if we win 3-0
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Keeping them at 0 is key. I think we can knick a goal or two at the etihad, making the away goal rule key. I dont understand why people rather have the return leg at home, ive always preferred the return leg away due to this.

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At this point of the competition there really aren't any easy games and most of the matchups are difficult.  That said, I was hoping we wouldn't draw Man City since they are one of the few teams left in this competition who can afford to rest some players given they've already wrapped up the league.  This becomes an even larger issue given the depth of their squad compared to ours.  It will be interesting to see who lines up for both teams this upcoming weekend before the second leg which will be the 4th game in 12 days.

The other item I'll be watching closely is the style we attempt to play.  Will there be that breathless, targeted pressing we've seen many times under Klopp including the first half of our last game against City?   Unless you have exceptional team defense, going at City seems to offer the best chance for victory.  I just hope we have the legs at this time of the year and especially over this stretch of games.
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Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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Thanks Babu for your write up. 

Besides the stats on PKs between keepers, which I believe is not as relevant as how either have done in previous shootouts (a different animal, Bodo Illgner, 2018), I think you have captured the ying and yang of this match --- so many possibilities for this tie.

I am going to add some content to this structure soon as I am just starting Honingstein's book on Jürgen:

What do Manctity do well
pending

What do we do well against them
pending

Key Points for Both
pending
THIS IS ANFIELD SIGN:
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We have everything we need - Jurgen Klopp

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Nice op :wave

just a thought on the tie overall. man city beating the bluenoses today is good for a few reasons. They can win the league obviously against utd now. Win, lose or draw that can be good for us in the second leg (provided we're not out of it). They lose or draw, they miss a golden chance to win the league over their rivals at home to rub it in their noses. they win, well we've seen chelsea admit it messed with them winning the league just before the Anfield semi in 05, i can't really see a downside, u could argue they might want to put it right against us, if they blew the derby game, but at the end of the day they'll just be fucked off they missed the chance
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Thanks BabaYagu. Nice write up.

City are a very good side but we must not fear them. We must show the same mentality and belief as we did in the game at Anfield earlier this season. Psychologically, it’s alreay there since we are the only team to have beaten them in the league. We just have to repeat the performance now. City, for all their brilliance aren’t infallible though. People forget that a team close to full strength with the likes of Sané, Aguero and Silva lost at Wigan in the FA cup.

For me the key battles will be how our fullbacks contain their wide forwards and who wins the midfield battle. The attack is pretty even on both sides and both defences can be got at. I don’t know if Can will be fit but even an 80% fit Can has to start IMO judging how the midfield played today. He was superb in the game at Anfield and it is imperative we have him on the pitch somehow. If the midfield that started today plays I am honestly going to be a bit worried as they might be bypassed too easily creating too much pressure for our defence.

It will be really difficult to keep them from scoring at Anfield, but at a minimum we must go in to the second leg giving ourselves a chance.
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Penalty shootouts are different to in-game penalties, in that in-game penalties are more random, whereas shootouts are more like a poker game. Possibly. Maybe Yahtzee :D

Essentially, you know, as a keeper, you will face 5 penalties, from 5 different takers. So you can play the odds. You don't have to save them all. You just have to save one. As long as the kick-takers on your own team do their job, then one save is enough.

If Karius/Achterberg are aware of this, and like to play a bit of game theory with it, then we could be okay if it gets that far. If Karius goes out/is sent out to try to save every single penalty, we might be relying more on luck than design.
Better looking than Samie.

Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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Penalty shootouts are different to in-game penalties, in that in-game penalties are more random, whereas shootouts are more like a poker game. Possibly. Maybe Yahtzee :D

Essentially, you know, as a keeper, you will face 5 penalties, from 5 different takers. So you can play the odds. You don't have to save them all. You just have to save one. As long as the kick-takers on your own team do their job, then one save is enough.

If Karius/Achterberg are aware of this, and like to play a bit of game theory with it, then we could be okay if it gets that far. If Karius goes out/is sent out to try to save every single penalty, we might be relying more on luck than design.

Reminds me of

last League Cup final Man City & the most recent U19 UEFA Youth League - both lost in pens (where our stud players failed to convert)

If I am honest, I would like to avoid penalties here --- gaggen-ze-
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Offline RogerTheRed

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Thought provoking op thanks.
What they do well. Keep the ball! Their passing is crisp and tidy and they are all comfortable and crisp in possession.
What we can do about it. Press, We will need to be at them from the start and knock them out of their stride. As we saw at Anfield, they lose composure and get over ambitious with their passing when pressed hard and can make mistakes.
How we hurt them. Take our chances when they make their mistakes. We need our link up play to be accurate and high tempo and finish well.
As others have said, I would happily take a narrow, low score win into the second leg. Score 1-2 more than them and limit them to no more than one and we are in this.
Can’t wait for this and hope all who go sing their hearts out for the lads, looking forward to seeing the pyro pre match 😀
Come On You Mighty Scouse Reds!!

Offline stara

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Reminds me of

last League Cup final Man City & the most recent U19 UEFA Youth League - both lost in pens (where our stud players failed to convert)

If I am honest, I would like to avoid penalties here --- gaggen-ze-

Trend is not destiny   ;)
"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is, along golf, much, much more important than that."

Online Felch Aid

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We have nothing to lose against the all conquerinh city juggernaut.

Cant see Klopp wanting to keep it tight and dont see Guardiola doubling up on Salah.

Think City will go for possession and look for patient probing. Is Aguero fit for this as his record against us is pretty good.

Think it will be Gini, Henderson and the Ox for midfield. Klopp will want his fittest and quickest side out.

Hope we give them hell.

I'm expecting a fairly turgid affair with no one taking risks.

Offline Avens

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I was with you all on the start of this journey with the preview for the Hoffenheim games, so it is only right I am here for the end also.

A lovely preview, thanks Babu, but this bit...?!
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Doubt there are too many surprises tactically. Just avoid a major gaffe and we'll win. City suit us just fine. Been a long time coming, a game of this magnitude. Whatever happens, well done on getting these nights back redmen.

Online BabuYagu

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A lovely preview, thanks Babu, but this bit...?!
Read the part that directly follows it ;)

Quote
But first I figured I should brush off my preview writing cobwebs with these manc no marks before begging Tito Camara to let me have a crack at the final in Kiev against Barca!!
My first article on Anfield Index on Shaqiri. Enjoy. bit.ly/2mAq3Qd

Offline Zoomers

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Doubt there are too many surprises tactically. Just avoid a major gaffe and we'll win. City suit us just fine. Been a long time coming, a game of this magnitude. Whatever happens, well done on getting these nights back redmen.

Pep will try to man mark Salah out of the game.
Shut the fuck up and put some respek on Lucas name playboy

Offline rocco

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Trent v Sane has to be a huge worry

Thought Zaha gave him a torrid time first half yesterday but much better second half

Offline Clint Eastwood

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I'd go for... Karius; Trent, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

One of the few games I'd play Wijnaldum. Henderson and Trent's form worry me, but I'm hoping a CL night at Anfield against the best team in the league means form goes out the window. You know, I wouldn't be against having Milner in midfield on Trent's side to give him some protection. However, we're at home and probably don't need to be so reserved.

Offline Guz-kop

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Let's twat these manc bastards
It's wonderful, it's marvellous, it's 3-3

Offline Mister men

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It's up to us as a fan base to make these City fuckers shit themselves at Anfield and give the team as good a chance as possible. At present they are clearly a better side but as we have shown before they are beatable if you put the effort in.

Offline NativityinBlack

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Doubt there are too many surprises tactically. Just avoid a major gaffe and we'll win. City suit us just fine. Been a long time coming, a game of this magnitude. Whatever happens, well done on getting these nights back redmen.

A reason why Pep and Klopp have such intriguing matches with each other is that despite being very good at what they do, they are both unpredictable. Consider Pep's yesterday's quote. "The lineup in the derby will be decided by the first leg against Liverpool". He knows the Blue Mancs will hate it ( at least the locals ) but he doesn't care.

I'm almost certain he'll pull off something along the lines of what he did at Bayern against Klopp (Martinez as second striker / AM and lob the press with the accurate long balls from keeper and defenders). It worked well. I'm also certain Klopp knows this and would be expecting it, considering the kind of goals we have conceded against United and then yesterday. I'm almost ready to see us play 3 at the back, with Matip / Lovren as the sweeper in front of Karius, to provide that extra cover after the knockdowns from Fernandinho.

Its going to be very intense and intriguing. I predict a 3-1.

Online sinnermichael

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Anyone know who the ref is?

Offline SerbianScouser

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Our only chance is to play to our strengths and try to pounce on their mistakes in their own half just like we did in Anfield game. There's no point trying to dominate the ball against them when we're not technically good enough for it anyway. Even though they're amazing their style really suits us and gives us a decent chance of taking a lead to their ground.

Offline meady1981

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These lot are shite

Offline Qston

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It's up to us as a fan base to make these City fuckers shit themselves at Anfield and give the team as good a chance as possible. At present they are clearly a better side but as we have shown before they are beatable if you put the effort in.

Absolutely this. A rocking anfield can make a hell of a difference not only in unsettling them but getting out players giving absolutely everything. This is going to be a tough enough ask as it is. City are a brilliant team and I would go as far as saying the best side in Europe at the moment, but we have been here before and overcome the odds.

Tactically I doubt there will be any surprises at all. City will probably start with aguero up front. Closing down Silva and de  bruyne is the key to stopping their rhythm. I really don't know who will start in midfield for us but I do see can starting if fit.

Let's make some noise and show city what European royalty looks like

The ref needs to have a good game as well.
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Offline Qston

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Thanks for the great OP as well
Rafa Benitez: "I'll always keep in my heart the good times I've had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool. I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager. Thank you so much once more and always remember: You'll never walk alone."