Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola won’t repeat one of his errors against Liverpool from the Champions League quarter-final when the two teams meet again tonight, says Martin Keown.
Last week, Guardiola surprisingly opted to leave Raheem Sterling out of his starting line up at Anfield, and it backfired spectacularly as the team looked disjointed, lacked threat up front and lost the game 3-0.
City now have a mountain to climb in their second meeting this evening, but former Arsenal defender Keown is tipping things to go very differently.
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The former England international is sure Guardiola will start with Sterling this time and is predicting City to go through as it’s a tough game for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to approach.
City now have home advantage and Keown feels an early goal could sway things in their favour very quickly, and while fellow pundits Chris Sutton and Jamie Redknapp predicted Liverpool to go through, Keown was the only one to stick his neck out and tip City.
‘This might sound strange, but it’s is a difficult game for Jurgen Klopp. There must be a temptation to sit back, but Liverpool have to play the same way they did in the first leg. Press the ball high when they can, disrupt City’s midfield dominance and punish them on the break,’ Keown told the Daily Mail.
‘Roberto Firmino was crucial last week, dropping into midfield and stopping Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne from controlling the tempo.
‘But it’s easy to overlook the role emotion can play. City are at home and if they score first, it changes the mood.
‘Pep Guardiola won’t mess around with his team this time. Raheem Sterling will give them more width, which will open up space for Leroy Sane on the other side. Sergio Aguero’s return can also make a huge difference and I expect a performance from De Bruyne.
‘Last week was one of Anfield’s great European nights, but City have the chance to make this one of Liverpool’s worst ever.’