Author Topic: Match Preview: UCL QF 2nd Leg City 0 v Liverpool 3 [10 April 2018, KO 19:45 GMT]  (Read 72018 times)

Offline BabuYagu

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Date: Tuesday 10 April 2018

Kick-off: 19:45 GMT

Venue: Emptyhad Stadium, Manchester



14 September 2016, Opening Champions League group game against Borussia Mönchengladbach
"Huge, sheer stands, the Blue Wall, utter bedlam. It's a raucous bear pit of noise". - Nobody, ever.

With a 3-0 first leg win to dissect as well as a second leg to preview, this may have a feeling of a round table meeting a typical RAWK preview.

We discussed in the preview of the first leg the possibility that the likes of their less competitive game against Everton beforehand, the under current that they could win by simply turning up and Liverpool having the opportunity to build up a lead to take into the second leg could well be beneficial to us. Also the need for us to shut down their penetrative passing from the likes of De Bruyne, Silva & Sane in particular. A lot of what was discussed certainly looked like it rang true in the game with City looking under prepared for the task facing them and Liverpool doing a great job of minimising the impact of City's main creative 3.

We also discussed the decision to put Laporte up against Salah in the pre match thread which resulted in twitter going into meme overdrive after the game for the moment Salah said "I'm sorry" for ruining Laporte.






You can see clearly here how effectively we shut down City in the key zones where most of their goals are scored. Where normally they are able to complete on average almost 4 passes into the 6-yard box per game, they completed 0. Where they are normally able to complete ~30 passes per game right in front of their opponents box, we allowed them just 5. Neither De Bruyne or Silva were able to complete a pass in front of our box. Instead having to move the ball to the flanks (mostly left). Not to mention how the decision to bench Sterling effectively meant they played the game without a threat on the right flank.

Guardiola said before the game that: "I know the way we play is perfect for Liverpool because they’re a team that attack that space unlike any other team in the world." The question then remains - Why do it then? Why play into our hands? I personally think Pep is tactically probably the best coach in the world. His biggest flaw is how much he over thinks things. He did the same thing for the return leg of when he lost 4-0 at home to Real. His instinctively said right after the game to his assistant "we need to play 3 at the back, don't let me change my mind later because I will". Then changes his mind the day before the match to 4-2-4 and they got battered - he calls it "The biggest fuck-up of my life as a coach."

So I think that 4-3 defeat got in his head coupled with the fact that most of the goals we are conceding recently have been happening in our defensive right half space. Therefore he wanted to do two things. Firstly sacrifice the threat on their right to give them more numbers in midfield in the first attacking phases to help them better escape our press. Secondly, with just one winger on the pitch, to focus on that area of recent weakness - the TAA/Lovren zone.

The flaw in this line of thought it two fold. Firstly, that we wouldn't adjust to his change and simply find a way to reshape our press to counter the extra body and De Bruyne being deeper. Secondly, that we would have predicted his plan to isolate and attack TAA and specifically worked on that in training.

But also it's another example of him over thinking things. He doesn't need another body in midfield, he just needs to bypass our press until we tire. He did this before against Klopp and it's when he had his better results again him. He knows that trying to build up play from the back through midfield is just playing into Klopp's biggest strength and therefore instead of doing what worked before - nullify that strength - he is trying to make his side better at playing through it, still.

And the reason for this is what I mentioned in the pre-match write-up. Control. For Pep everything he does in football is about control. Klopp's tactics are about disrupting that control and flipping it on it's head. It's just a bad match up for Pep. Pep then has two choices, to stop trying to control the ball and the opponent and try to play a more transition based game by bypassing our midfield earlier, or get better at controlling things. And even though the former works for him, he still over thinks things and convinces himself that this time he knows how to take control of the game, that he sees why it didn't work before but why it will this time. Then ends up playing right into Klopp's traps once again.

So what should we expect from the second leg?
This is something else we discussed in the first leg preview. Pep's recurring problem of getting behind in the first leg of a tie away, then struggling to overcome that deficit in the home leg. This exact scenario has played out 5 times so far for him in the Champions League. Hopefully we will be talking of a sixth in just 3 sleeps time.

Given our injury problems (at the time of writing only Simon Mignolet & James Milner have declared themselves fit to play), it could be a rough second leg. Henderson's suspension for a stupid and needless foul on Sterling is annoying too given our lack of numbers in midfield. But the hard part is done in giving us a lead to hang onto. All we need to do is shut down those central areas of the pitch, prevent Sane (mostly) and Sterling from getting in behind and attacking spaces between full back and center back, and then take our chances when we hit them on the counter. Man City almost need a perfect game. They need to score 4 themselves while also hoping the best counter attacking team in europe don't nick one on the counter. Not a great spot to be in.

I could go into more detail on this but, instead, let me share some gifs from the first leg that made me smile that will fire you up for the second leg more than a thousand words (literally!) ever could!


Salaaaaaaaaaaaah!!! Check out Firmino's arms when he passes :D


"TAKE THAT, HORSE, I'M AN OX!" - 24/7


Sane running directly into Trent's pocket


"Salah... ah Mane, Mane!"


Da fuq is this? Robertson Carlos?


Misery likes ... Kompany... Sorry, I'll stop!


Okay, one more time for my buddy Zlen!


Mane ending Otamendi's career


His kids are watching this, ffs!


"I'm sorry"


Titaniumbollocks Alexander-Arnold


Salah soaking up YNWA with a wry smile shared with Bobby




Many thanks again to Capon for his photoshopping skills. Also thanks again to JCB for all the help with the analytics side of things
« Last Edit: April 7, 2018, 09:23:51 PM by BabuYagu »
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Offline BabuYagu

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The UEFA Champions League quarter-final first legs seemed quite decisive, with three teams opening up three-goal leads – leaving two sides, in particular, needing to overturn deficits away from home.

But comebacks are not unheard of, and the numbers suggest at least three of the trailing teams have some hope at least.

We looked at every past first leg in the European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League with an identical scoreline to the current round of 16 ties and noted which sides eventually went though.

Juventus will hope not to meet the fate of the other 49 teams that lost a first leg 3-0 at home, whereas Roma, Manchester City and Sevilla can cling to some consolation from past comebacks.

Tuesday
Roma v Barcelona (1-4)
Times first-leg scoreline has happened: 48
Home side in second leg through: 8 (16.7%)
Away side in second leg through: 40 (83.3%)

Manchester City v Liverpool (0-3)
Times: 126
Home side in second leg through: 7 (5.6%)
Away side in second leg through: 119 (94.4%)


Wednesday
Bayern München v Sevilla (2-1)
Times: 91
Home side in second leg through: 86 (94.5%)
Away side in second leg through: 5 (5.5%)

Real Madrid v Juventus (3-0)
Times: 49
Home side in second leg through: 49 (100%)
Away side in second leg through: 0 (0%)
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Offline 4pool

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Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)

Assistant referees
Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Roberto del Palomar (ESP)

Additional assistant referees
Carlos Del Cerro (ESP)
Alejandro Hernandez (ESP)

Fourth official
Teodoro Sobrino (ESP)

He did our match v Ludogorets in 2014.... finished 2-2

He's ref'd these for City:
2016- Dynamo Kyiv v City 1-3
Last season-City v Monaco 5-3
This season-City v Napoli 2-1
Either we are a club of supporters or become a club of customers.

Offline BabuYagu

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Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)

Assistant referees
Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Roberto del Palomar (ESP)

Additional assistant referees
Carlos Del Cerro (ESP)
Alejandro Hernandez (ESP)

Fourth official
Teodoro Sobrino (ESP)

He did our match v Ludogorets in 2014.... finished 2-2

He's ref'd these for City:
2016- Dynamo Kyiv v City 1-3
Last season-City v Monaco 5-3
This season-City v Napoli
2-1

I would take any of those results right now :D
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Offline sms1986

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Alls we need is that one away goal and they have to score five, I don't see them being able to keep us from scoring on Tuesday.

Offline sms1986

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Just need to score one and they have to score five. So why do I still feel so damn nervous?! :-\

A lot riding on this game, win and we're through to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in way too long.

Offline Lycan

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A lot riding on this game, win and we're through to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in way too long.

True.

Just want it over and done with mate. I know fair well these next two working days are going to drag like crazy though.
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Offline Sarge

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Score once its done, we can do that.
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Offline BabuYagu

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Just need to score one and they have to score five. So why do I still feel so damn nervous?! :-\

Because at the moment our midfield for the game is Mignolet, Curtis "Lloyd" Jones and Klavan. :D

In all seriousness it's only natural. We all saw the likes of PSG go out to Barca last season. Or Deportivo's 2nd leg comeback against Milan that I will never forget. Closer to home we have the 2005 final and Dortmund 2016 to think of. Nobody wants to be on the end of a moment like that. You would want to crawl up somewhere dark and quiet where the internet trolling can't find you and hide until August.

Those moments happen. The rarity of them happening is what makes them so special. But the part for us to focus on is the rarity. 95% of the time once a side gets to the point we are at now, the second leg is about getting over the line. Man City absolutely have it in them to come back into the tie if we let them. With Klopp in charge who is great at keeping peoples feet on the ground and head in the game, I doubt it happens. I will still be shitting myself with the rest of you though right up until 10pm on Tuesday though :D
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Offline deFacto

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True.

Just want it over and done with mate. I know fair well these next two working days are going to drag like crazy though.

Same here.

I'm facking shitting it,sweating already just thinking about it.

Hopefully Salah and Robbo are good to go and start. The midfield pick's itself

----------------------Karius------------------

---Trent-------Lovren--------Van Dijk-------Roberson----


------Ox----------Wijnaldum-------Milner-------Mane----


----------------------Firmino-------------------


-----------Salah----------------------


We need to preferebly score first and dent their confidence within fifteen,twenty minutes.

I imagine that they will score, they missed Aguero and he does have a good record of scoring against us at their ground.

I'll take a 2-2 draw.

Offline Circa1892

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It's either going to be 0-0 or 6-4 to them I reckon. Hendo is a huge miss, but this weekend's fixtures - the fact ours was a jog in the park and theirs was a gutting lung buster is great.

Offline sms1986

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Same here.

I'm facking shitting it,sweating already just thinking about it.

Hopefully Salah and Robbo are good to go and start. The midfield pick's itself

----------------------Karius------------------

---Trent-------Lovren--------Van Dijk-------Roberson----


------Ox----------Wijnaldum-------Milner-------Mane----


----------------------Firmino-------------------


-----------Salah----------------------


We need to preferebly score first and dent their confidence within fifteen,twenty minutes.

I imagine that they will score, they missed Aguero and he does have a good record of scoring against us at their ground.

I'll take a 2-2 draw.

Klopp said that Salah and Robertson should be fine for this match.

Offline RedorRed

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Why can’t we welcome the team coach away? Line the route near the ground, hang from the lamp posts and welcomes me the lads for the game ahead?
Maybe a wee bit of pyro also lol.
But no throwing stuff!!!

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Hope Salah is fit but in my head I can’t see how he will be

When was the last time a groin niggle cleared up in six days?!

Just pinch a goal. Any goal. And for the sake of our health get it early!!!

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;D Love that, thanks Babu.

I'm in no way relaxed about this game, but if Manchester City can shut us down and score three or more goals - then they really deserve to go through. They are good, but I don't think they are that good. What they can do is score goals, probably enough of them - what they'll have problems with is shutting us down. We aren't afraid of them, not one single bit. We'll rip into them with focus, desire and verve.

I keep playing all kinds of scenarios in my head - but somehow they all end with lot of empty seats and 'Allez, allez..' roaring.

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Offline N0rnIr0nRed

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In their faces and get an early goal and I think we kill this tie.

City absolutely have the capacity to score 3 + goals past us and the tie is still alive even with our first leg advantage.

We defended wonderfully last week, but I don't want that approach from the get go or I'm worried we eventually gas.

Pep will likely use the possession game and try to wear us down. great thing is we are deadly on the counter.

Shitting myself already. Biggest game we have played since the Europa League final.

See it out and we will be salivating for No.6 :lickin
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All about getting a goal. City will be like a wounded animal at the moment and I expect them to come flying out of the blocks. Of course they're capable of it but we are just as capable of scoring a few goals on the break

Just want Tuesday out of the way and the hopefully the dreaming can really start. Pray to Fowler we are in that semi final draw
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Offline Lycan

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I think we definitely need to score first. The earlier the better as well.
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Offline Samie

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I think people need to remember we're up by 3, even if they beat us 2-0 we're through.   :wave

Offline Dave D

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Offline BabuYagu

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I wrote this thread before their game against United yesterday after which I commented that they are ripe for an absolute fucking pasting should we get an early goal. The aura of invincibility has slipped and psychologically they look a bit battered after a rough week. It will be easy to motivate them for this game to believe they can beat us but I do that the moment we score their heads could start to go and then we would be able to have another goal swarm scoring 3 or 4 in a 15-20 minute window as we have against them before this season twice.
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Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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Great OP!

Who plays left back or do you think he goes three in back Babu? 

Danilo is a nightmare with his left and looked a bit rash/off the pace against United.  Laporte was not at all the solution, but it still may turn he'll do better than his counterparts (Delph or Danilo --- unless they change the system, which is entirely possible).

Do you see Pep --- going with Aguero, Jesus and Sane up front with KDB/Silva/Fernandinho in the middle or does Swan Lake Ilkay make it again?

Lastly, is there an unexpected hero wearing red (or orange --- not sure if anyone has told the club we have not lost in these this season) waiting to break out?  And who(m) might that be?

Thanks for your work.
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Offline deFacto

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I think people need to remember we're up by 3, even if they beat us 2-0 we're through.   :wave

Tell that to my arse and toilet seat  ;D

Offline Lycan

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I think people need to remember we're up by 3, even if they beat us 2-0 we're through.   :wave

Thanks for letting us know. We hadn't quite worked that one out mate. :wave
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Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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I think people need to remember we're up by 3, even if they beat us 2-0 we're through.   :wave

Shit Samie --- 2-0 is squeeky bum time.  We'll need king size TAA titanium balls for that viewing. 

How about we answer any goal with a goal?  Training sessions on resiliency ---- PoP you have a session for going into a hostile area with a big lead --- need to keep our composure (not Will Ferrell style).
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Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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I think we definitely need to score first. The earlier the better as well.

The timing and the team who scores the first goal will be big.  Of course, nil-nil is just fine too.
THIS IS ANFIELD SIGN:
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We have everything we need -  Klopp

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Offline Samie

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Just letting you lads know. I'm kind like that.  :wave

Offline Passmaster Molby

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Fancy we will score at least once here so its all about the team defending well as a unit and keeping it tight. Huge game for Gini as the 6 assuming he gets the nod but confident we can progress without major drama's.

This is on my 40th birthday - I am going to be absolutely hammered by the time kick off comes around so might need to re-read this thread to remember what happened!

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We’ve got to keep our nerve. 

We need a goal. That’s it.

If we are losing 4-0?? It doesn’t matter... score and we’re through.




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Great OP!

Who plays left back or do you think he goes three in back Babu? 

Danilo is a nightmare with his left and looked a bit rash/off the pace against United.  Laporte was not at all the solution, but it still may turn he'll do better than his counterparts (Delph or Danilo --- unless they change the system, which is entirely possible).

Do you see Pep --- going with Aguero, Jesus and Sane up front with KDB/Silva/Fernandinho in the middle or does Swan Lake Ilkay make it again?

Lastly, is there an unexpected hero wearing red (or orange --- not sure if anyone has told the club we have not lost in these this season) waiting to break out?  And who(m) might that be?

Thanks for your work.

Cheers mate.

Pep was clearly worried about how easily we isolated Fernandinho and then exposed their split center backs in January. That will still be on his mind and I think. He will probably go with something a bit out of left field with 3 at the back (Walker, Kompany, Danilo), Sane & Sterling at wing backs, Gundogan, Silva & De Bruyne in midfield and Aguero + Jesus up front.

Gini is due a goal away from home. So why not him :D Would love Gini, Lovren, Milner, Moreno, Trent, Ings or Solanke to grab a goal. Someone who has taken stick and would enjoy even more than Salah & Firmino the chance to go and scream their lungs out at the travelling kop. I worry about Mane scoring simply because Firmino hasn't scored for a bit and he won't know how to celebrate the goal. His last one he just stoof there and got mobbed. Worried his head might explode if he scores again.
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Offline vagabond

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Fully expect a win. They'll get hit on the counter again and again. 3-1 to the reds.

Offline lessthanmatt

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Lmaooo that first picture ;D Good stuff

Compete to win the match. If we score one they'll need 5. Pundits will keep saying "City did put five past Liverpool earlier in the season" but that was with 10 men and before VVD and Karius came in (and they look pretty solid).

Still, quite nervous I have to say ;D We can afford no complacency. We should take great encouragement from the first leg and City's display against United. They are defensively not all there
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Offline deFacto

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My main concern is our bench, when our midfield tires, we have no one to bring on to stick in midfield.

Offline Sinyoro

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For those who have played the game professionally- is it possible to completely treat this as a one off game that we need to win ourselves to go through or will that lead to errors and nervousness?

If we go toe to toe with them, do we have the stamina to outlast them considering how psychologically and physically taxing their game was against us and United?

Pep said that big teams remain calm in adversity...'smoke a cigar' while hell breaks loose around them (that's why they lost- his players were smoking cigars while we were trying to win a match)- will he adopt this approach for Tuesday and will they throw caution to the wind?

How do we counter their fast start? How do we prepare for a more patient approach from them. One thing is for certain- they can't resort to launching it because our big centre-halves will gobble everything up.

Will they play for free-kicks, penalties and corners? Professionals and former professionals, how do you prepare for all these scenarios? 


Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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Cheers mate.

Pep was clearly worried about how easily we isolated Fernandinho and then exposed their split center backs in January. That will still be on his mind and I think. He will probably go with something a bit out of left field with 3 at the back (Walker, Kompany, Danilo), Sane & Sterling at wing backs, Gundogan, Silva & De Bruyne in midfield and Aguero + Jesus up front.

Gini is due a goal away from home. So why not him :D Would love Gini, Lovren, Milner, Moreno, Trent, Ings or Solanke to grab a goal. Someone who has taken stick and would enjoy even more than Salah & Firmino the chance to go and scream their lungs out at the travelling kop. I worry about Mane scoring simply because Firmino hasn't scored for a bit and he won't know how to celebrate the goal. His last one he just stood there and got mobbed. Worried his head might explode if he scores again.

Haha :)

Maybe he saw Salah's first goal celebration.  Noticed Mo had a groin issue and put 2+2 together and thought, maybe I should be a minimalist after my last celebration.   

If you see Mo's slides in the corner to make it 1-0, it could not have helped his groin, but it did help millions of supporters release their groins.
« Last Edit: April 8, 2018, 07:19:03 PM by Trendisnotdestiny »
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We have everything we need -  Klopp

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Offline Keita Success

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The key is shutting down Silva and KDB again. I imagine the pattern of play will be very similar from Klopp, Guardiola has to pull it out of his arse.

Where do you get all that data, mate? It's brilliant stuff! Can really tell how balanced our play looked in comparison to City's.
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Offline Nick110581

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Think Pep will go 3-5-2 with Sane and Sterling as wingbacks. Usual midfield three and two up top.

Could be space to exploit.
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Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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For those who have played the game professionally- is it possible to completely treat this as a one off game that we need to win ourselves to go through or will that lead to errors and nervousness?

If we go toe to toe with them, do we have the stamina to outlast them considering how psychologically and physically taxing their game was against us and United?

Pep said that big teams remain calm in adversity...'smoke a cigar' while hell breaks loose around them (that's why they lost- his players were smoking cigars while we were trying to win a match)- will he adopt this approach for Tuesday and will they throw caution to the wind?

How do we counter their fast start? How do we prepare for a more patient approach from them. One thing is for certain- they can't resort to launching it because our big centre-halves will gobble everything up.

Will they play for free-kicks, penalties and corners? Professionals and former professionals, how do you prepare for all these scenarios?

That's a great question.  I do not think we can allow them to control the middle of the pitch at any point --- there will be 10-15 min spurts where they dominate possession and get dangerous penetration, but JCB's maps and Babu's analysis points out if can limit central penetration --- then we won't get pregnant, so to speak.

And I do think  will have a session on keeping cool on the ball, making them expend energy chasing that could be used in finishing and penetrating --- if we get to 60 minutes without conceding, desperation will set in and we could exploit the counter.

My take is clog up the middle, do not allow wide service to primary and secondary runners in the box, and keep the ball for important periods in the first half.  The second will be a whole different animal then.
THIS IS ANFIELD SIGN:
It’s there to remind our lads who they’re playing for and to remind the opposition who they’re playing against! - Bill Shankly

We have everything we need -  Klopp

You need to get more wives mate, it fixes everything. Apart from then you have loads of wives, which is a nightmare.  -  Djozer