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Liverpool or Manchester City: Who is ready to challenge?

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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are simply scintillating at the moment. There, it has been said and is on record. Liverpool sit 2nd in the Premier League behind Manchester United having conceded only three goals in their first three games with all three conceded on opening day vs. Watford. The back line still looks shaky at times and Simon Mignolet fails to convince but we’ve seen better all round team defending so far this season, so Liverpool fans can definitely feel encouraged. Anfield will host Champions League matches as well and you have to feel that they won’t underwhelm the way they did when Brendan Rodgers was around.

Manchester United look very strong but they looked good after three games last season as well. Manchester City just haven’t convinced yet and neither have Spurs, Chelsea and definitely not Arsenal. This could be an excellent opportunity for Liverpool to make a real challenge for the title. We know that they can score goals with Mane an unstoppable force, Firmino in great form and new signing Salah rampaging through defenses, as he did versus Arsenal. They are a dangerous proposition for any club and next up for them is a trip to the Etihad to play Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

Pep has a plethora of attacking options at his disposal. Even his defenders are really just auxiliary attackers. City have conceded only two so far but they have scored five goals to Liverpool’s eight. Pep’s defense will have it all to do against Klopp’s roaming forward line.

One has the feeling that despite Pep’s attacking options, he hasn’t found the right formula to put the ball in the back of the net. Will he start Aguero? Is Jesus ready to lead the line by himself? Where does De Bruyne fit? What about Bernardo Silva? Will Sterling make an impact? On the defensive end, one wonders if John Stones can actually handle the pressure. This season as well Man City must make an impact in the Champions League. Pep was hired to win it, not to make City Kylian Mbappe’s platform to stardom as they were last year. You have to believe that in his second season Man City will be much better so the league should beware.

City have so many questions to answer, Liverpool just look like they know a bit more about themselves. So in many ways, this match should give us an indication of both teams’ ability to challenge for the league and make their mark on the European stage.

Can Pep work out the best team for the season? Is Klopp’s revolution for real? We’ll find out early on Saturday but for once I’m betting on Liverpool here. Liverpool’s last game against Arsenal proved to be a stroll in the park as they ran out 4-0 winners. They won’t put four past City away, but they have a good chance of winning this match and laying a marker for the rest of the season. A City loss will have Pep’s naysayers chomping at the bit.

 

 

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