Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists that possession is the key to keeping Liverpool’s front three quiet at Anfield on Sunday.
The Premier League’s joint leaders will face off this weekend in a huge match which could go a long way to deciding who comes out on top in the race for the title this season.
Both sides are unbeaten after seven matches, but Liverpool come into the game off the back of a disappointing Champions League defeat against Napoli on Wednesday night.
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City meanwhile, managed to pick up three points in Europe against Hoffenheim to extend their current winning run in all competitions to four matches.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds haven’t been the irresistible force going forward that they were last year up to this point, but Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are all capable of providing match-winning moments in any game, which Guardiola is very wary of.
Speaking ahead of the game, according to Manchester City’s official website, the Spanish manager revealed exactly how he plans to stop Liverpool’s troublesome attacking trio, as he told reporters: “The big difference is how many times you lose the ball.
“In Champions League games, they didn’t lose the ball. These guys are so dangerous and connect between them – Mane and Salah love running behind and they do it really well.
“I always believed and feel in my game we should attack better and be protected when we lose the ball.
“I don’t expect what happened in Napoli to happen at Anfield (where Liverpool didn’t register a single shot).”
Guardiola continued by stressing the importance of his team sticking to their identity on the pitch, adding: “We have to defend, but not in the approach play because it’s boring and we have to be ourselves.
“In this type of game, we must be ourselves.”
The Reds seem to have a more well-rounded team this year, with summer arrivals Alisson and Naby Keita having a huge impact on the pitch, while January signing Virgil Van Dijk has formed a solid partnership in defence with Joe Gomez.
City, on the other hand, haven’t hit their top gear yet, despite still picking up wins on a consistent basis and supporters will hope that they can finally reproduce their best form against Liverpool to re-assert their dominance as the best team in England.