Dirk Kuyt


Liverpool are set to play Man City on Sunday at the Etihad.

Coach Jurgen Klopp would face a difficult clash as the race for the top four intensifies. Coach Pep Guardiola would be keen on finishing the season well, aside consolidating City’s spot as Champions League contenders next season.

Guardiola would likely play veterans Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi – both stars who missed the Monaco clash – against the Reds. Liverpool might give a few minutes to Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian missed the game against Burnley last week. He is likely to play the lead strike role. Liverpool would welcome defenderback to the fold after missing games since January.

Guardiola would be the cynosure of all eyes as he begins a tough run of games. City would play Liverpool first before games against Arsenal and Chelsea. This is aside the important – hopes of winning something this term – game against Arsenal in the FA Cup. The Spaniard managed similar tough run of games whilst in the La Liga and with Bayern Munich, so he has the capacity.

City would have to shake off the disappointing result against Monaco in the Champions League. The game against Liverpool is important for confidence as they prosecute the rest of the matches.

Going by recent history, City are sure to concede against Liverpool but they are also likely to knock in the goals against a poorly organized team defensively. Only resilience would ensure Liverpool emerge victors – something they badly need to consolidate their top four status.

Looking at far back in 2008, Liverpool showed the kind of resilience that can give them the edge against the Citizens.

Rafa Benitez managed the side then. The team went two goals down courtesy of goals from Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido. The Reds came back from the 2-0 margin with in-form striker Fernando Torres grabbing a brace. Pablo Zabaleta received marching orders in the game before Dutch star Dirk Kuyt finished the game in injury time.

Aguero has a poor record against the top six but he is the man to lead the attack. Liverpool’s attacking prowess is not in question but the backline would face a stern City set-up.