John Aldridge, in the second part of his weekly column, previews Liverpool’s upcoming Premier League fixture away at Manchester City.
It doesn’t matter when Liverpool go to the Etihad Stadium as most times they will be going to there to face a team that has won 20-odd games on the bounce.
I know a lot of Manchester City fans and the one thing they always worry about is Liverpool. Whilst they’ve dictated, it has only been Liverpool that have laid a glove on them so they’re not really scared of anyone else.
Having said that, our form there has just not been good at all in recent seasons, and that’s something to worry about.
You can’t go there – and I’m not questioning anyone at the club or Jurgen Klopp, I wouldn’t do that – but you can’t go there and play with an attacking mindset in my opinion.
The new midfield might be full of energy, granted. Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister can hurt them, but they’ll need a deep-lying midfield player too. I think Wataru Endo is the only one available at the moment so he’ll need to watch his tackles.
We’ll wait and see who he picks but for me you have to go there with the mindset of what we did at Newcastle or almost did at Tottenham when you go down to 10 or nine men – all dig in and defend. That’s the only way to beat Man City – frustrate them.
Liverpool on the break are devastating, one of the best in the business at it, so if we can get back behind the ball, defend like we did at St. James Park and Tottenham in particular, and then unleash the three strikers then we can win the game.
I don’t know the last time they didn’t score at home so you’ve just got to go about it the right way and outscore them. If you try to go head-to-head with them like we have done on a few occasions, you’re going to come unstuck 90 percent of the time. It would be a tough afternoon.
To do this job I’d be happy with Joel Matip, then I’d say Joe Gomez over Kostas Tsimikas as he’s a better defender. That’s the way I’d go but you’ve got to trust the manager, be able to defend there and not get caught out.
Tsimikas sometimes has those lapses in concentration that you can’t afford to have against Man City – you’ve got to be 100 percent on it, ready to defend.