Premier League • England

Liverpool told Jurgen Klopp will get schooled by Man City, with ‘biggest sign’ set to let Pep Guardiola rub it in

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, July 2022

Manchester City will beat Liverpool “quite comfortably” at Anfield because of the gulf in class between both teams in midfield, says Stan Collymore.

The two sides have fought to the end for two Premier League titles in recent campaigns, City edging the contests by a point. But while Pep Guardiola’s team have gone to another level this season, Liverpool have dropped off.

The Reds sat 10th in the Premier League heading into the weekend following just two wins in eight games.

City, meanwhile, remain the only unbeaten team in the top flight and are battling Arsenal at the top – not Liverpool.

Critics of Jurgen Klopp’s side have pointed to their ageing midfield as a major weakness. And former Liverpool man Collymore has claimed he cannot look past that as an issue.

“The game will be won and lost in midfield, it’s that simple,” the pundit told Caught Offside.

“If you look at Manchester City’s midfield when everybody is fit and available, it’s stacked with quality.

“Their creative players are the ones who act as the attacker’s supply line. They all chip in by providing chances and that’s why they’re so good at putting a chokehold on their opponents.”

Liverpool have even gone away from their settled 4-3-3 formation in search of more consistency.

Collymore admits that the Reds had “early jitters” against Rangers before their 7-1 win in midweek. And he added that Klopp’s side “cannot start that poorly” against City.

Liverpool’s midfield – whether it be in a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 – will have to “work their socks off”, Collymore said.

Liverpool will have issues against City

“Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Fabinho and James Milner all give their all during games, but I can’t help but feel that the Reds need an injection of energy in the middle of the park.

“During the last six or seven seasons, Liverpool have gone from having one of the youngest average squad age to one of the oldest. So considering City are continually replenishing their squad, it’s now time for Liverpool’s owners to do the same and add some fresh faces, particularly in the midfield.

“But transfers aside, do I think Liverpool can beat Manchester City at home? – Yes. I think this Liverpool team is capable of beating any side in world football on their day. But do I think they will this weekend? – No.

“I think Sunday will be Pep Guardiola’s day. I think his Citizens will control the game from start to finish and look almost unbeatable in the process. I’m not saying Liverpool are going to get thumped, but I do think City will take all three points quite comfortably.”

Collymore concluded that if City do ease to a win over Liverpool, it will be the “biggest sign” that yet another Premier League title is on its way to the Etihad Stadium.

Reds definitely not the favourites

Liverpool definitely do not go into Sunday’s clash as favourites, that is for sure.

And that is something rarely heard at Anfield in the Jurgen Klopp era, especially since the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker signed.

But, that is the reality of where Liverpool are at this season.

They have lost that bit of intensity and pressing, that extra 10 per cent which has pushed them to incredible heights under Klopp.

While it is only a small drop in intensity, it has made a huge difference and sent damaging ripples throughout the team.

Man City will subsequently be smelling blood at Anfield, with Erling Haaland rested.

READ MORE: Carragher reveals deadly enemy Klopp ‘wishes’ was at Liverpool, whose own equivalent is pale imitation