Manchester City welcomes EPL defending champions, Liverpool to the Etihad stadium without Van Dijk as City hopes to push back to the top of the EPL standings.
AllNews understands that City has been having issues scoring in the Premier League with - 1 goal in four consecutive matches (2W, 2D).
Manchester City sits at 10th position with 11 points from 6 games - losing 7 points from available 18 points. They have conceded 8 goals scoring 9 in the process.
The highest scorer in the EPL so far for City is Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling - both with 2 goals.
Liverpool on the other hand is leading the standing overtaking the previous leader, Everton. The Reds are leading with 16 points from 7 games - that is a loss of 5 points - 7-2 loss to Aston Villa and draw against Everton in the Meyerside derby.
Jurgen Klopp's side has conceded 15 goals scoring 17 in the process which could be due to the absence of Van Virgil Dijk but he was present when they let 7 in at Villa.
Back at it!! ? https://t.co/kYoUYhTCrH— Manchester City (@ManCity) November 4, 2020
The Citizens are viewing the game against Liverpool with the wonderful performance against Olympiacos as they scored 3 at the same ground avoiding traveling issues.
They will be more rested than Liverpool having their UCL match at home and not traveling as the Reds did.
Jesus Gabriel announced his injury comeback with a powerful strike from the edge of the box to score the second goal against Olympiacos.
The return of Kevin De Bruyne from injury will be crucial to the City's hope of getting all 3 points against Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola has been changing the back four; Nathan Ake, John Stones, Kyle Walker, and Zinchenko was used in the UCL game against Olympiacos while against Sheffield United; Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte Joao Cancelo, and Walker were used.
Against West Ham, we saw Ruben Dias, Eric Garcia, Cancelo on the left, and Walker.
Walker has been the only constant figure while Cancelo has been used in a different position in the backline including a midfield position.
With another injury relapse for Kun Aguero, Gabriel Jesus will come to the fur, while Sterling, Mahrez could partner him, and Bernando Silva, Phil Foden, or Ferran Torres could be brought in as substitution.
Walker could be charged with the duty of trying to stop 'pressing machine" Diogo Jota who have scored in 4 consecutive games for Liverpool after his debut against Arsenal.
Sterling has not risen up to the occasion yet this season but the English man could anytime but Pep Guardiola would need his dribbling and mesmerizing skills against a forward hungry Trent Alexandre Arnold leaving spaces behind on the right for wingers to run in.
Even if he does stay behind which would not be healthy for Liverpool's attack, his forte is in attack with more error-prone when he defends.
De Bruyne would need more passing and shooting skills sharpening as Alisson Becker's presence could mean more parrying of balls, one-on-one situations saved, as the Brazilian goalkeeping skills are that good.
His compatriot, Ederson Moraes would also be at his best as these games could count at the end of the season as the margin between the crowned champions and runner-ups.
Ferran Torres could be Pep's invisible weapon as he could start Mahrez who would probe the defense till the 60th or 70th minute before bringing in fresh legs against Joe Gomez, Matip, Andy Robertson depending on Liverpool's backline who by then will be tired to defend.
Usually, these games are not separated by high number of goals with an exception of some times lately but with both team's recent tempo it could end a 1-0, 2-1, or a draw.
The Reds are leading the EPL table and chasing another EPL title after breaking the EPL title drought for 30 years last season. Jurgen Klopp has made some adjustments to the squad with the signing of Kostas Tsimikas to replace Lovren, Thiago Alcantara, and Diogo Jota.
Thiago has proved to be a great addition but COVID-19 and injury have not allowed the Anfield outfit to enjoy the former treble winner's array of talents.
Diogo Jota has been a blessing to a rather weak and fatigued Liverpool front three of Mane, Salah, and Firmino who won the EPL title, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA World Club's Cup.
Jota has forced his way into that front line scoring in 4 consecutive games for Liverpool since his debut against Arsenal where he scored his debut goal.
⚽️ ⚽️ ⚽️— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 3, 2020
Our hat-trick hero ? pic.twitter.com/4c6xFReg0c
He completed the second hattrick of the UCL 2020-21 season against Atalanta with a superb lofted finish, a volley from the edge of the box, and a-dribble-past-keeper-finish in a one-on-one situation.
He has proven to be a finisher, a creator, and indeed a press machine for Jurgen Klopp.
Though the German coach reiterates that Jota has not displaced Firmino from Liverpool's starting XI but in truth, he has risen up the pecking order while the Brazilian has dropped.
Apart from Mane's aggressive attack, Salah's speed - he has brought something different to the Reds team with his positioning, finishing, and option in attack.
His absence has kept eyes off Mane and Salah which also affords them the opportunity to score - it is with little wonder that Mane, Salah scored in the 5-goal thriller against Atalanta.
The loss of Van Dijk and Matip spelled doom for Liverpool but they have been able to turn it into fortunes as Klopp brought in Rhys Williams against Atalanta, Nathaniel Phillips against West Ham, Fabinho against Midtjylland, Sheffield, and Ajax.
The return of Fabinho into a defensive position rather than a midfield one could continue just like Manchester City did for Fernandinho after Laporte's long term injury but the repercussions could be similar too.
Origi has also dropped on the pecking order playing just 3 games so far starting just 2 after over 12 games in all competitions.
Andy Robertson and Trent Alexandre Arnold will be in the full-back positions but TAA's right-back might be the weak link in the formation as he is more concerned and effective going forward.
With Sterling also transversing the same area, Liverpool could be weakened at the right side of their box but Jurgen Klopp knows that too so he could deploy Fabinho in a defensive midfield position with instructions to tilt toward the right side of their box.
Fabinho will be effective in that area having played in a right-back position at Monaco.
The counter-attack is also a very new strategy for the Reds as they used it thrice against a very attacking-minded Atalanta in the Mane, Salah and Jota's goals as the trio are seen running behind enemy line and beating the offside flag in the process.
City playing pattern looks like that of Atalanta and the same strategy could work in Liverpool favour.
Sunday, November 8th, 2020, at 5:30 PM
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