Manchester City once again face off against Liverpool on Tuesday night and they are going to require a miracle in order to overturn the first leg deficit. The last week has been bitterly disappointing for players, staff and fans alike but City have the chance to redeem themselves with a strong performance, even if it doesn’t result in qualification for the next round.
This will be no easy feat however, with Klopp seemingly having Guardiola all figured out during the last two meetings between the sides. If City are to stand any chance they must Liverpool to the sword early and show no signs of relenting. It was a more casual start to the second half that cost the team at the weekend and surely the players will have learned their lesson.
It appears as if City finally have a clean bill of health. During his press conference Pep wasn’t asked about any injuries so it would be safe to assume everyone is available and ready to play.
Ederson in goal. No brainer.
At the back I am expecting some changes. Given that City are in need of goals I would imagine that John Stones will be recalled, if available, to partner Aymeric Laporte in order to provide superior passing and positioning in the teams build up. Kyle Walker should return to the side after being rested for the derby and Danilo will man the left flank. In all honesty, I think Fabian Delph would be the best option at left-back but I’m not too sure his fitness will allow him to compete twice in quick succession, especially due to the fact he has only recently returned to action.
In midfield Pep will probably stick to the trio that has served him so well throughout the season in Fernandinho, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne. It is our most offensive midfield setup and also our best and if we are to stand any chance of demolishing Liverpool to secure our progression this trio will need to be at their absolute best.
After the failed experiment at Anfield surely Pep will revert back to his tried and tested formula in the forwards department: two pacey wingers and a deadly striker. Enter Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling. I can think of nobody better suited to this occasion than Sergio he scored big goals when we need them and the two young wingers have an opportunity to redeem themselves. Both have failed to deliver this week and they have all the motivation in the world to silence some critics – keep them in and let them sink or swim.
On the bench Claudio Bravo is a given. Pep will most likely also bring Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gündogan in order to provide stability and ball retention should City find themselves in a position when that becomes a priority. Gabriel Jesus will be there to provide an extra striking option if or when it is required. Pep seems to have a habit of naming multiple defenders in his bench unit, so I imagine Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph will make up the numbers.