Pep Guardiola has a problem at Manchester City right now. It is exactly what Liverpool need as they prepare to face off at the Etihad Stadium, however.
Pep Guardiola is dealing with an unusual problem at Manchester City right now. His team just aren’t scoring goals regularly in the Premier League.
They’ve scored just nine after six games, in fact. For perspective, Liverpool have 17 goals after seven games and the only other team to have played just six – Aston Villa – have 15.
Their last four Premier League games paint the picture. Despite not losing any, they’ve scored just one goal in each – winning two and drawing two.
And this will all be music to Liverpool’s ears.
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Liverpool have two problems of their own – they keep conceding goals and they’re down on defenders. Virgil van Dijk will likely miss the rest of the campaign, Fabinho – who deputised – is also out, and Joel Matip can’t stay fit.
It’s largely why the Reds have conceded 15 goals in seven games. Only Leeds United and West Brom have conceded more. But it’s not the sole reason.
Liverpool struggled to keep clean sheets even before Van Dijk’s injury – such as the seven conceded against Villa. They even let in three to Leeds on opening day.
It’s a huge relief, then, that City won’t be at their usual prolific best when hosting the Reds today. The game will be won elsewhere and things will likely be a little tighter than usual.
Guardiola can’t allow things to become a shoot-out, after all, as his forwards can’t keep up with Liverpool’s right now. Especially with Sergio Aguero still out. And that’s what Jurgen Klopp will want.
He can’t afford to have a sharp attack running at his struggling backline. Fortunately, City are in no position to do that.