De Bruyne reveals Man City laser-focused on exposing clear Liverpool weakness, but big warning sent

Kevin de Bruyne, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, April 2022

Kevin De Bruyne has insisted that Liverpool have a clear weakness Manchester City can expose, but warned of a stunning Reds comeback.

The two sides clash at Anfield on Sunday in a repeat of what has proved a classic, intense rivalry in recent seasons. Indeed, the pair have battled for the Premier League title for the past four years.

However, City and Liverpool could not be further apart in Premier League form heading into the match.

City have yet to lose this season and star striker Erling Haaland has them playing seemingly better than ever. Liverpool, though, sit 10th after eight games following just two wins.

And De Bruyne has insisted that Liverpool’s style makes them open to facing serious pressure. That is, if City can get their tactics right.

“The last few years we’ve done well, even last year if we didn’t win, so I think it’s probably going to be a good game again,” the Belgium star told The Guardian.

“Maybe we have more control of the game. They are more of an up-and-down team and we are a team who has more control of the game, so if you can control that style of play then maybe you have more of a chance.

“Last year I thought we played great but we didn’t win any of the games so sometimes it goes that way. Obviously it’s hard playing away at a top-six team always.”

Liverpool and City drew 2-2 in both their Premier League clashes last term – which were both thrillers. But, Liverpool then got the better of their rivals in the FA Cup semi-finals, winning 3-2.

Man City fearful of Liverpool response

And Netherlands defender Nathan Ake has warned that Liverpool have not lost their progress of the past five years overnight – and could instantly switch it on on Sunday.

“I have always got the feeling that at one point they can just bounce back because they have a quality manager and all the players are quality,” the centre-back said.

“They have shown that over the years. I think they can deal with setbacks and I expect them to come back.

“Obviously it will be a tough place to go. It is never easy to go there so we have to make sure we are in a good place.”

Reds must answer key questions

Liverpool may be able to spring themselves back into their top form against City, but they have a lot to prove in that regard.

Last season, Sadio Mane scored in all three games against Pep Guardiola’s side.

After one in both Premier League matches, his brace almost single-handedly sent the Reds back to Wembley.

Liverpool must therefore work out how to produce their best form against City without Mane.

Coping without Mane has proved a key concern for many pundits since the Senegal international left for Bayern Munich.

But, against City, the forward’s impact was even clearer.