Manchester City vs Liverpool: 3 Key Battles To Watch Out For
In what promises to be a belter of a clash, Manchester City will take on Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal.
Manchester City are trailing 3-0 on aggregate as they were blown away by the Liverpool attack in the opening thirty minutes of the first leg and will be hoping to pull off a turnaround at home and make it to the final four of Europe’s premier club competition.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will need to put in a disciplined performance and not let complacency creep in, as they look to go through to the semifinals of the Champions League.
Ahead of the mouthwatering clash, here we pick out three key battles that could have a telling impact on the outcome of the game.
Leroy Sane vs Trent Alexander-Arnold
The contest between City’s speedy winger Leroy Sane and Liverpool’s young full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold was one of the major highlights from the first game as the Reds academy graduate completely negated the German international’s presence in the game.
Until that match, Sane was in splendid form but he was rendered completely ineffective by the brilliance of Alexander-Arnold.
Heading into the second leg, the City winger will be keen on proving himself in a crunch tie while the 19-year old Liverpool full-back will be intent on showcasing that his performance in the last game wasn’t a one-off. Expect the sparks to fly between the two very talented young footballers.
Mohamed Salah vs Fabian Delph
The main reason behind Liverpool’s spectacular performances this season has been summer signing Mohamed Salah. The 25-year-old has been a hit since coming in from AS Roma and has already amassed a total of 38 goals and 13 assists in all competitions.
The Egyptian was on the scoresheet against City in the previous game but there were some concerns over his availability for Tuesday’s encounter due to a groin injury. However, he was spotted training with the team on Monday and should be in line for a start.
If he plays, Salah could be up against City’s makeshift left-back Fabian Delph, who returned from an injury this past weekend.
The former Aston Villa man has adapted brilliantly to the change in position and has earned Pep Guardiola’s trust with some solid displays. This will be an interesting battle for sure!
Sergio Aguero vs Virgil van Dijk
Without a doubt, Sergio Aguero is one of the best strikers in the game. The 29-year old Argentine has been a consistent performer for City over the years and went on to become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer not very long ago.
The Argentine has been City’s primary source of goals this term, having netted 30 times already, but hasn’t started a game in over a month, due to a knee problem. He made his comeback this past weekend with an appearance from the bench and is in line for a start on Tuesday.
He will be up against Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who has changed the complexion of the Reds’ defence since his arrival. With the Dutchman at the heart of things, they have looked more secure at the back.
The contest between Aguero and Van Dijk will make for an enticing battle and the outcome of this battle will have a major say on the outcome of the game.