Saturday, 23 September, 2017

EPL Predictions: Manchester City and Liverpool showdown

Under Ranieri at times the organisation wasn't good. If it wasn't for Shakespeare it could have fallen apart a lot earlier.    Kevin Phillips Under Ranieri at times the organisation wasn't good. If it wasn't for Shakespeare it could have fallen apart a lot earlier. Kevin Phillips
Spencer Simpson | 19 March, 2017, 00:33

It has the coach, certainly the finest of his generation, now Guardiola needs the squad to deliver on his vision - starting at the back.

"It is a massive disappointment".

Klopp added: "I like to speak positively about a player, second half Emre was very good but first half it was a challenge he should have had before their goal but things like that happen in football, it does not make you a bad person. We gave them too much respect and ... we put ourselves in danger".

The hosts got off to a flying start, scoring two goals in the opening half hour.

Liverpool's hopes of winning the Premier League title faded during a poor January but three wins in their last four games have boosted their chances of a top-four finish.

Turning around a 5-3 deficit from the first leg appeared to be a tall order for Monaco, but instead looked rather too easy as the home side cruised into a 2-0 lead within 30 minutes and then quickly responded to City's brief second-half fightback to reach the quarterfinals on away goals.

The reigning Premier League champions created more history by progressing this far in a competition they had never previously considered, such was their standing in the game.

In addition, there has been speculation over the futures of Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero, Claudio Bravo, Fernando and Fabian Delph.

The Ligue 1 side will take no fear in to the quarter-finals after overhauling a two goal deficit to triumph over Pep Guardiola's men despite the absence of key players Kamil Glik and Radamel Falcao.

Guardiola has built arguably the greatest attacking force now in the Premier League - with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Nolito all top class offensive options - but his defensive unit is remarkably poor.

City had kept six consecutive clean sheets in all competitions before facing Leonardo Jardim's swashbuckling Monaco and Guardiola has been pleased with the form of John Stones.

City are [2.04] favourites to rebound from their European disappointment while Liverpool are [3.95] to do the Premier League double over the Citizens for the second season running.

Liverpool are fourth in the table with 55 points, one behind third-placed City, who have a game in hand.

Klopp enjoyed a good record against Guardiola when they were in charge of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively, but he says reports of the Catalan's demise have been greatly exaggerated. "I expect more desire, to show more passion".

'The problem in the first half was we didn't create against Monaco and that's what I'm most anxious about. We also found a nice 13/10 victor in the Inter v Atalanta game, with Mauro Icardi scoring, as tipped by us. "I'm confident Liverpool will be in the top four".

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