Liverpool v Manchester City: Keys to the clash

Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Trent Alexander-Arnold.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Leroy Sane.
Leroy Sane. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WILL LIVERPOOL'S DEFENCE COPE?

Jurgen Klopp's side have conceded eight goals in their two Premier League meetings with City this season - a 5-0 defeat at the Etihad and a 4-3 win at Anfield.

Unless they improve in that area, they will not reach the semi-finals. Club-record signing Virgil van Dijk did not feature in either of those games and Klopp will be hoping the Dutch defender can ensure a tighter defensive display.

Given the rapid and clever movement of City's front line, Liverpool will need to deliver one of their best displays if they are to frustrate Pep Guardiola's attack.

HOW WILL CITY COPE WITH REDS' PRESS?

Guardiola's side love to play the ball out from the back. But in January's win at Anfield, Liverpool's forwards pressed the City defence - and their goalkeeper Ederson - hard, forcing errors and knocking them off their rhythm.

With a high defence, the aim is to compress midfield and limit the space that City enjoy so much. Klopp has suggested the approach will be the same today, saying: "The way we attack the opponent, the way we defend high is unpleasant (for our opponents). If we do that well, they will have some difficulty coping."

CAN ALEXANDER-ARNOLD KEEP SANE QUIET?

There is no doubt that Liverpool's right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, 19, is talented but he faces a huge challenge against the speed and craft of City's German left winger Leroy Sane.

Alexander-Arnold has had some tricky tests of late, struggling at Old Trafford against United's Marcus Rashford and having a torrid time last Saturday, in the first half at Crystal Palace, against Wilfried Saha.

If he is left exposed, one on one against Sane, it could be a long, hard night for the Liverpool academy product and he will need help and support.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2018, with the headline 'Liverpool v Manchester City: Keys to the clash'. Print Edition | Subscribe