Last Updated: 06/10/18 11:25pm
Last Updated: 06/10/18 11:15pm
Pep Guardiola believes Mo Salah must reproduce his form of last season over "eight or nine years" to justify comparisons to Sergio Aguero.
Salah scored 32 goals in 36 Premier League games in his debut Liverpool season - beating Aguero, who got 21 goals, to the Golden Boot.
However, Salah's total goals scored in the English top fight (37) trails City's all-time leading scorer's (148) by 111.5:17 Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher preview the Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher preview the Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield.
"He (Salah) is younger and it was his first year back in England since his time at Chelsea, so we will see in the future," said Guardiola, talking ahead of City's visit to Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday.
"But a guy who has the quality to score 50 goals in a season always has that quality. But football is all about ups and downs.
"Salah remains an excellent player and will score goals in the future. When you are in there scenting goals sometimes this happens.1:02 Pep: Bus attack should upset Liverpool Pep: Bus attack should upset Liverpool
"Sergio has scored a lot of goals but there were periods when he didn't score goals.
"How many years has Sergio scored all those goals, eight or nine years? For Salah it was the first one so we will see in seven or eight years."
Guardiola insists he has no concerns about starting Raheem Sterling at former club Liverpool on Sunday.
Sterling has received hostile receptions and struggled in games at Anfield since leaving Liverpool Manchester for City in 2015.
Despite being one of City's key players throughout last season, the England international was used only as a second-half substitute when the sides met on Merseyside in the Champions League quarter-finals in April.0:40 Ahead of their match at the weekend, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Liverpool are one of the greatest sides in England. Ahead of their match at the weekend, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Liverpool are one of the greatest sides in England.
But Guardiola claims that was a tactical decision and he is not shielding the 23-year-old, who he expects will learn to cope with the challenges of returning to his old stomping ground.
Guardiola said: "The reason why last time he didn't play was for other reasons: tactical. What I wanted to do was have Kyle Walker on the right side attacking more than him. That was the plan. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.Liverpool vs Man City
October 7, 2018, 4:15pm
"I don't think about that (crowd reaction). Even if that happens - maybe it affects him, maybe not - but being so young, he has to learn about that.
"When he has been a player for us for a long time, and hopefully it will be for a long time, sooner or later he will go many times to Anfield.
"He grew up there, he has a good memories about his period there. Of course the Liverpool fans want (him) to play bad, and he has played bad but he wants to play good. Normally I don't do it for that reason."Play Super 6
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Mohamed Salah could equal a feat last achieved by Ian Rush back in 1994 in Liverpool's Premier League clash with Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.
The Egyptian has scored in the last three competitive meetings with Pep Guardiola’s side, following up his stunning long-range effort in the league encounter by striking in each leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
The last Reds player to find the back of the net four times in a row against City was Rush, between 1992 and 1994.
Read on for more pertinent pre-match stats and facts, courtesy of Ged Rea…
Liverpool have lost only seven of the last 36 league meetings home and away between the sides, and nine of the last 51. Their only defeat in the previous seven Premier League games was last year's clash at the Etihad.
The Reds have scored in each of the last 24 league encounters at Anfield. The last time they failed to find the net was in a goalless draw in August 1986.
Liverpool are looking for a sixth successive Anfield league victory over City for the time since 1972-1981, when they won 10 in a row.
Jürgen Klopp has beaten a Pep Guardiola team in his career more times than any other manager - seven.
Last season's win in the league fixture at Anfield saw Liverpool end City's 22-match unbeaten top-flight run from the start of the campaign.
Since Boxing Day, Salah has failed to score in just one league game at Anfield - the goalless draw with Stoke City in April - finding the net in 11 of the last 12.
The last 16 league encounters between the teams home and away have produced 57 goals, with 46 coming in the last 12.
Liverpool have lost only three of their last 36 league games while City have suffered defeat in just two of their last 53 top-flight matches.
The Reds have only conceded two first-half goals in their past 13 Premier League matches - both at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
Liverpool have not conceded a goal in the last 751 minutes of league football at Anfield - their best since a sequence of 934 minutes in 2007.
City have not kept a clean sheet in their last 24 visits to Anfield - and only one in the last 38.
Guardiola's men were behind for a total of just 153 minutes during the whole of their title-winning campaign last season, with more than an hour of that tally coming in this fixture.
They’ve come through largely well, though a late defeat in Naples midweek was a low point.
At Anfield, though, they have to chance to supplant City atop the Premier League table heading into the international break…if they can find a way to raise performance levels to combat the depth and quality available to Pep Guardiola.
Ahead of the match, This Is Anfield’s Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett) spoke with TIA writer James Nalton (@JDNalton) and Reds fans Nav Kaplish (@nkaplish) and Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3), to gauge their thoughts on how Liverpool should take on the challenge and how the 90 minutes might pan out.How should Liverpool approach the game? Hard and fast, like in the Champions League last season, or be warier because of our own current form?
KARL: I think we have to try and start on the front foot and not let City take the game to us, because our midfield is being swamped a little too easily at times just recently.
Until each part of the team is playing with last year’s cohesion, we won’t be at the same devastating level, so we need to react accordingly and try to stay ahead of the curve in these biggest of matches.
We’ve already seen this season that City will only struggle if you try to go toe-to-toe with them (see the Wolves match) and Liverpool are best-equipped to do exactly that.
JAMES: In order to recover their form Liverpool need to revert to what they are good at. High-octane attacking football, relentless pressing, and swift counter-attacks.
They now have not one, but two central defenders who can deal with the one-on-one situations this type of system can produce, using their pace, strength, and defensive nous. But support from midfield will be vital.
Start fast and stay fast, and use the new-found depth from the bench to maintain this throughout.
NAV: Rock, Paper, Scissors: I firmly believe that the reason Klopp keeps getting the better of Pep is that our primary tactics of pressing seems to beat Pep’s primary tactic of dominating position.
Other teams can’t deal with Pep because his tactics outwit most other managers’, but Klopp is genuinely his Kryptonite.
Our best chance is for us to do what we best: start aggressively, press, hustle, hassle.
JONATHAN: This is a simple one for me, we need a complete return to the blueprint of last season’s Champions League games.
You just have to look at Manchester City’s bus arrival plans for this game to sum up just how wounded they are. Just like off the pitch, they will be doing everything in their power on the pitch to attempt to neutralise the situation.
After the disappointment in Italy midweek, we need a fast, aggressive start to further increase the doubts in the Manchester City players’ minds.Which changes would you make to the starting lineup, if any?
KARL: I’d honestly be bringing in Fabinho here. It doesn’t matter that it’s his full debut, he’s obviously mentally strong enough to cope and more to the point, he’d bring key traits in midfield that would help.
If we’re to press high and hard, we can get behind City’s midfield line, but there’s always their own outlets to worry about such as David Silva. He’s not lightning fast, he’s clever, has great movement—and Fabinho can be equal to that. He’ll do the simple parts of his job, he’ll make a few narky fouls to stop counters when necessary.
I think Milner has been off the boil recently so it’s him I’d leave out on this occasion. Get Gini and Henderson charging around as the 8s, assuming Keita isn’t fully fit to start, and press the life out of City’s deeper midfielders.
JAMES: Had Fabinho played more games it would be tempting to throw him in. Nevertheless, Klopp must be tempted to do so anyway.
As it stands Liverpool have to hope Keita is fit enough to return and provide the box-to-box energy in midfield.
Milner started the season really well, but using him in the League Cup game was one match too many, and he now appears to be flagging. Which is a shame as he would have been useful in this fixture, and if he does start we can hope for a second wind before the international break.
The defence and attack picks itself despite Shaqiri making a good case for inclusion. While Salah’s performances on the ball have been poor, off the ball he has been outstanding. The latter will be important here so he should keep his place.
A midfield of Henderson, Wijnaldum deepest and Keita, could be the best option, but Milner and Fabinho are also in with a shout. All five could play a big part whether starting or not.
NAV: I would play the same 11 against City as played most of the game in Napoli.
We lack an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain type of energy in the middle of the park, but the midfield needs to work together intuitively for such a game and I don’t think Keita is there yet with the wavelength. Henderson deepest, Wijnaldum and Milner alongside.
JONATHAN: Assuming Keita has recovered fully, I would like to see the same team line up which started midweek against Napoli.
The back five picks itself, as do the front three even if we haven’t seen that trio at their dynamic best yet.
Midfield is the only debate for me. I personally prefer Gini in the No. 6 at the moment as he gives us more energy and drive from deeper and it is arguably his most effective position for us.
Milner’s experience will be crucial in this type of battle, particularly to give Trent some extra cover, as no doubt City will try and overload him on the right-hand side. The energy and direction running of Keita will be a huge addition to our (hopefully) aggressive approach also.Which Liverpool players will be key to a victory?
KARL: Neither of the wider forwards are firing on all cylinders at the moment, but Firmino’s level has largely remained unchanged—just the service to him has been poorer, as have those around him to play off. We need Bobby at his best, on and off the ball.
It’s not just about chance creation, though, and while I have no concerns about the goalkeeper/centre-backs triangle, we need whoever is playing as the No. 8s in midfield to be absolutely relentless with their work rate.
Tracking the channels, doubling up with the full-back, winning possession and playing forward quickly—this is a mammoth job which needs to be done near-perfectly to beat City.
JAMES: As we have seen against Man City, all players need to be on their game to secure the win. The full-backs need to deal with the wide threats, especially if Guardiola uses Sane as a wide forward again.
But the key to actually scoring goals in order to win the game will be the front three. The balanced trio whose attributes complement each other perfectly need to make a return, and the hesitation in front of goal seen at times this season need to turn into ruthless finishing.
NAV: Henderson and Trent. Hendo as the anchor, for dealing with the creative midfield of City, and Alexander-Arnold to exploit the weaker left wing of City, in terms of their defence.
JONATHAN: The midfield battle as I’ve mentioned above will be crucial to the outcome of the game; if they can get control of the game and feed our front three regularly, we are halfway to victory.
Even slightly off-par, you would have to fancy the forwards to exploit the City defence if they get the right service.Give us a prediction and why you think it’ll pan out that way?
KARL: As much as I’d like to, I can’t honestly say I think we’re heading into the game with our performances suggesting we’ll play at the intensity required. Unless we’re super-ruthless with finishing even half-chances, I can see this one getting away from us.
Hopefully this is entirely wrong and our unbeaten Anfield run continues, but I’m seeing 2-1 to City.
JAMES: Guardiola has surely had enough games to work Liverpool out, but as with all the great footballers or the systems in which they play: working them out is one thing, stopping them is another.
If both teams operate at full capacity they could cancel each other out in an entertaining game. For that reason, I think it’ll be a score draw.
NAV: 2-2. I think this will end even as our attackers aren’t firing yet.
JONATHAN: 3-2 victory for the Redmen. No doubt there will be goals in this game, there always is. I expect a fight-back and a reaction from our midweek game. We have made a good start in the league but everyone involved at the club knows how big of a statement a victory here will be.
Sunday, October 7, 2018 — 4.30pm (BST)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
It doesn’t get much bigger than this for Liverpool in terms of their title credentials being tested.
A daunting seven-game run of fixtures will come to an end on Sunday evening and we will know a lot more about Klopp’s men come the final whistle.
It may only be early October, with many twists and turns still to come, but after Wednesday’s defeat in Naples a big response is needed.
City cruised to the Premier League title last season, racking up 100 points on their way to glory and setting the benchmark for their rivals.
Pep Guardiola’s team have matched the Reds’ total of 19 points from seven games in 2018/19, albeit with far easier fixtures.
This is a matchup between two of Europe’s best sides, in a fixture that could dominate the English game over the next several years.
The Reds have had the better of their opponents in recent times, winning their last five meetings at Anfield, but this is a City team brimming with world-class talent seeking revenge after the Champions League quarter-final defeat in April.
Liverpool are well aware of the problems they can cause City, however, so there should be no reason to approach the game with too much caution.
Victory would be an outstanding way to head into the international break, going three points clear of the champions in the process ahead of an easier upcoming run.
This fixture last season: Liverpool 4-3 Man CityTeam News
Naby Keita was taken to hospital after suffering a back problem against Napoli, although fears have been allayed over it being a serious injury.
Liverpool’s back line should remain the same, given the magnitude of the fixture, with Joe Gomez in particularly imperious form.
Guardiola is without Fabian Delph, but key duo Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne could play a part having recovered for respective lengthy injuries.
There are question marks over the fitness of Ilkay Gundogan, while goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is a long-term absentee.Last 5 at Home to Man City
Won 3-0 – April 2018 (Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane)
Won 4-3 – January 2018 (Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Mane, Salah; Sane, B.Silva, Gundogan)
Won 1-0 – December 2016 (Wijnaldum)
Won 3-0 – March 2016 (Lallana, Milner, Firmino)
Won 2-1 – March 2015 (Henderson, Coutinho; Dzeko)
Aguero has been a thorn in Liverpool’s side at the Etihad Stadium, scoring in all six games against them until failing to in the Reds’ 2-1 Champions League victory in April.
The Argentine striker has never found the net at Anfield in nine appearances for City and Atletico Madrid, however, incredibly managing just three shots on target in that time.
Let’s hope that statistic stays the same this weekend.Form
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Man City – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-1 vs. Hoffenheim
Won 2-0 vs. Brighton
Won 3-0 vs. Oxford
Won 5-0 vs. Cardiff
Lost 2-1 vs. Lyon
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp spoke refreshingly about his preference for playing entertaining football:
“The most important job of football is entertaining the people.
“It’s only football. We don’t save lives, we don’t plant anything, create anything, are not good in surgeries.
“We only play football, so if we don’t entertain the people why would we play then?
“It’s not always possible, but it’s a really important thing. That’s why we have to try to create constantly, or as often as possible.
“Pep’s team are the best at that. I can admit that easily because its so obvious.”TV & Live Blog Info
Unsurprisingly, the match is live on Sky Sports Main Event, and finishes off the weekend Premier League action in style.
Coverage gets underway at 4.15pm (BST) and kickoff is at 4.30pm.
Chris Williams is in charge of This is Anfield’s live blog, with great content and minute-by-minute updates from 3.45pm.
With Robbie Fowler watching on, Bobby Duncan netted a last-minute winner against former side Man City as the Liverpool U18s won 1-0 at Kirkby.
U18 Premier League, Kirkby
October 6, 2018
Goals: Duncan 90′
Three days on from a frustrating draw in Naples for the U19s, Barry Lewtas’ youngsters were back in action in the U18 Premier League on Saturday.
Mirroring the first-team fixture later in the weekend, the young Reds welcomed their City counterparts to Kirkby for an early title clash.
Liverpool went into the game in second, with their visitors fifth, and Lewtas made three changes from the side that won 4-2 at Stoke the previous weekend, bringing in Vitezslav Jaros, Jake Cain and Paul Glatzel.
He also included Duncan, who left City for Merseyside in the summer, and the striker was in the thick of a busy first half, as the hosts played some excellent football.
Glatzel arguably had the best chance of the first half for the young Reds, but was unable to swivel into space to get his shot off, while Rhys Williams produced some strong blocks at the other end.
Neither side were able to break the deadlock before half-time, but Liverpool arguably had the better of the first 45.
A well-worked corner from Leighton Clarkson saw Williams’ header eventually drop for Duncan, but the 17-year-old fired his effort well over.
Lewtas shuffled his pack early into the first half as he sent on summer signing Matteo Ritaccio for Jake Cain, and soon after a swift move saw Elijah Dixon-Bonner flash a shot wide.
Liverpool had a penalty shout waved off after Glatzel was brought down in the box, before Cole Palmer hit the side-netting for City, only to be flagged offside regardless.
The pendulum swung in the closing stages as City applied more pressure in the final third, but both Williams and Tom Clayton held firm with a series of blocks and clearances.
Williams nodded a free header wide and Ritaccio’s hopeful curler hit the crossbar late on, but true to the script, it was Duncan who powered home the winner in the last minute for his fifth league goal of the season.
TIA Man of the Match: Rhys Williams
Liverpool U18s: Jaros; Walls (Hoever 74′), R.Williams, Clayton, Larouci; Dixon-Bonner; Clarkson (Sharif 88′), Cain (Ritaccio 55′), Longstaff; Glatzel, Duncan
Subs not used: B.Williams, O’Rourke
Next match: Wolves (A) – U18 Premier League – Saturday, October 20 – 12pm (BST)
Last Updated: 06/10/18 11:54am
Jurgen Klopp believes his Liverpool side must overcome the “biggest force in world football” if they are to usurp Manchester City this season.
The two sides meet on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports, with City leading the Anfield side at the top of the table on goal difference, with both having dropped two points from 21 this season.
However, Klopp says their financial power and the leadership of Pep Guardiola makes the task of overhauling City a very difficult one.0:56 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says beating Manchester City never gets easier, despite winning the last three meetings between the two. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says beating Manchester City never gets easier, despite winning the last three meetings between the two.
"They are so strong. This team together with the club, the money they have and this manager is exceptional," Klopp said. "It is a good match, a good combination.Liverpool vs Man City
October 7, 2018, 4:15pm
"It makes them the biggest force at the moment - together with PSG - in world football.
"We have to battle and fight with them for different things in the league and maybe in the Champions League at one point if it comes to that again."
Klopp is hoping to be entertained on Sunday after enjoying his side's match against another potential title rival in Chelsea last weekend.
"I turned to [Chelsea boss] Maurizio Sarri and I was smiling and he looked at me like, 'You enjoyed that'. Yes, actually I do. This was a very good game and the City games (have been) very good games," Klopp said.Challengers v Champions
Liverpool take on last season's champions Man City on our dedicated Premier League channel. To watch, find out more.
"I really think the most important job of football is entertaining the people. Because it's only football. We don't save lives, we are only good at football. If we do not entertain the people, why do we play it?0:40 Ahead of their match at the weekend, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Liverpool are one of the greatest sides in England. Ahead of their match at the weekend, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says Liverpool are one of the greatest sides in England.
"It's not always possible and it's always hard work but that's really an important thing. That's why we have to try and create as often as possible and Pep's teams are best at that, and I can admit that easily because it's so obvious.
"We are not bad in a few other things and that's why we were not the most comfortable opponents for City but that means nothing for Sunday. We need to be at 100 per cent, if not 110 per cent, to deal with the quality of City."Play Super 6
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Liverpool were in training at Melwood on Friday evening as they prepared for Sunday's huge Premier League clash with Manchester City.
With 48 hours to go until the top two face off at Anfield, the Reds conducted their latest session in West Derby.
Check out the best photos from the workout in our photo gallery below.
Photos by John and Andrew Powell