Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City welcome Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium tonight in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final, with a three nil deficit to undo, which was serviced by Mohammed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane at Anfield, last week in the first half.
Now most people would say that this game is done and dusted, and that Liverpool have already booked their place in the Semi-Finals, to face either Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid, but if Pep Guardiola has anything to say about it, Manchester City will naturally go for it.
After being seriously overrun in the first leg, the problem for Guardiola will be, how can they attack in order to recoup the three goal deficit and not concede at the back, with Fimino, Salah and Mane all set to start again?
Yes, Pep Guardiola’s Champions League goose looks well and truly cooked, and Manchester City need a miraculous performance against Liverpool and they probably also need the twelfth man, the referee on their side, one would think…
No less on the weekend, Manchester City lost to Manchester United 3-2 in the Manchester derby, after leading 2-0 at half time, only for Paul Pogba to score a magnificent brace, followed by the winner from Chris Smalling.
Perhaps, Pep Guardiola’s attempted mind games before the derby in suggesting that he was offered the services of Paul Pogba in the January transfer window, did not work, but backfired instead. Since they were seriously unbelievable claims by Pep Guardiola and Pogba turned up to score two clinical goals.
So yes, you either love or hate Pep Guardiola, or at least admire the tiki-taka football that his sides play, but like Zlatan Ibrahimovic once said about Pep and we’re inclined to believe him, as follows: “As a coach, he was fantastic. As a person, I’ve no comments about that, that’s something else. He’s not a man, there’s nothing more to say.”
So all in all, Manchester City are no doubt, seriously shaken up at this stage, and we predict that Liverpool will play slightly more defensively than usual tonight, so as to draw the game out, but when given a chance, the counter attack will suffice and with the pace of Salah and Mane, either side of the trickery of Firmino, we just don’t see Manchester City being able to keep a clean sheet at all.
Manchester City will try to dominate the game with the likes of De Bruyne and Silva in midfield, providing service for Sane, Aguero and Sterling, but with Liverpool’s high-octane style pressuring in both defence and attack, we believe that Pep’s Manchester City side, will be in for another tough match against the Reds tonight.
Even if Manchester City win this game, they have to do so by over three goals and without conceding and this will be impossible, since once they’re exposed at the back, all it will take is for a quick counter attack with Salah breaking off with pace, and the rest will be history. The tie will be buried then.
Now the best bet for a small return with any betting on this match, will surely be with the following: Over 2.5 goals
The best Manchester City can hope for is next season’s Champions League campaign and be ultimately more concerned about wrapping up the Premier League title on Sunday away at Tottenham Hotspur, which may also prove to be difficult in hindsight.
Brainstain, over and out!
Story by The Narrator
Featured Photo Credit: The Telegraph