Reds seek to re­gain ti­tle momentum

Viet Nam News - - SPORT -

LIVER­POOL — Liver­pool wel­come Manch­ester City to fortress An­field to­mor­row hop­ing to lay down a marker against the Premier League cham­pi­ons and re­gain momentum for a tilt at a first ti­tle in 29 years.

Both sides can only be sep­a­rated by City’s su­pe­rior goal dif­fer­ence at the top of the ta­ble hav­ing dropped just two points each in un­beaten starts to the league sea­son after seven games.

However, Liver­pool’s per­fect run of seven straight wins to be­gin the cam­paign in all competitions has come un­stuck in the past week.

De­feat by Chelsea with a muchchanged side in the League Cup was fol­lowed by a well-earned point against the same op­po­nents at Stam­ford Bridge thanks to Daniel Stur­ridge’s bril­liant late equaliser.

Yet, more wor­ry­ing for Jur­gen Klopp was an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally lack­lus­tre dis­play in los­ing 1-0 to Napoli in the Cham­pi­ons League on Wednesday.

“This was a re­al­ity check on how things must not go,” warned mid­fielder Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum.

Liver­pool were out­played for large spells in Italy and looked to be feel­ing the phys­i­cal toll of a bru­tal run of fix­tures that also in­cluded a trip to Tottenham and a thrilling 3-2 Cham­pi­ons League win over French cham­pi­ons Paris Saint-Ger­main in a four-week spell.

“You have seen it has been ab­so­lutely in­tense since the last in­ter- na­tional break with the games we’ve had – Chelsea twice – com­ing to Napoli, play­ing PSG and now we have the game on Sun­day against Man City,” said Klopp. “We can­not change that, so we have to make sure we are ready.”

Salah slump

City’s visit, there­fore, doesn’t come at the best time as Liver­pool seek to show they are ca­pa­ble of knock­ing Pep Guardi­ola’s record break­ers off their perch.

Liver­pool had the edge on City when they went head-to-head last sea­son, win­ning three of their four meet­ings.

City’s hopes of an un­beaten sea­son went up in smoke in a 10-minute pe­riod at An­field in Jan­uary as Liver­pool struck three times en route to win­ning 4-3.

And they also pro­longed Guardi­ola’s quest to land City’s firstever Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle with a 5-1 ag­gre­gate thrash­ing in the quar­ter-fi­nals.

However, the task for Klopp is to marry that abil­ity to rise to the big oc­ca­sion with City’s con­sis­tency that racked up 100 Premier League points last sea­son.

Liver­pool cer­tainly now have the squad for the long haul. So of­ten out­gunned by Abu-Dhabi backed City in the trans­fer mar­ket in re­cent years, it was the Reds who were the big­gest spenders this sum­mer.

Of the new re­cruits, though, only goal­keeper Alis­son Becker has made a big im­pact as Klopp has pref­ered to stand by those who got Liver­pool to the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal last sea­son. — AFP

Mak­ing a point: Liver­pool are look­ing to re­peat their strong form over Manch­ester City from last sea­son. — AFP Photo

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