Men's Team

Guardiola outlines Liverpool's main weapons

Pep Guardiola has praised Liverpool’s clever movement and speed as one of the main threats his team must deal with on Sunday.

City travel to Anfield for what could be classic against the early Premier League pace setters.

And ahead of the game, the City boss says the Merseysiders’ sheer intensity and speed makes them difficult to defend against.

In particular, he singled out the prolific Mo Salah, whose form this season has been exceptional, and full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who provide attacking drive in wide areas.

“It’s a team that loves to attack space,” Guardiola said. “Salah plays wide sometimes but Robertson and Alexander-Arnold like that wide space.

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“They create gaps because of their movements. They create space in the middle and have high intensity in all places. It’s very Jurgen.

“If they win a lot of games it's because they are good. Not a lot of secrets. They won a Champions League and one Premier League.

“All the time they are competing. I admire that. No matter what the situation, they try to play their game.

“And Jurgen knows we are the same. We are who we are as a team. If it's going good, great, if it's going bad, improve.

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The Catalan also admitted he gets nervous before games of this magnitude. 

He has a long history of managing at the top, having won 31 trophies in his managerial career to date. 

But he says if you don't feel a mix of intense emotions before the big games, you are not suited to football. 

Absolutely, I get excited, nervous, and feel emotional pressure," he said. "If you don't have them for important games it's because this business is not for you.

“You maybe do not sleep well the day before or after if your performance is not good. This is what you have to do to live this life. 

“I have it before the game - will the plan be good? If you don't feel it, you are not for this business.

“You have to feel it.”

Guardiola also admitted there is no specific strategy to cope with the threat of Liverpool’s short scoring bursts.

On four separate occasions over the past five years, Liverpool have hit City with a scoring blitz at Anfield that equates to a combined 11 goals in a total of 58 minutes’ action.

There were three goals conceded in 23 minutes in the 2016 Premier League clash (under Manuel Pellegrini), then three in 9 minutes in the 2018 Premier League clash, three in 19 minutes in the 2018 Champions League quarter-final and two in seven in the 2019 Premier League meeting.

However, last season, City responded in kind, with three goals in 10 minutes during a long-awaited 4-1 victory at Anfield, suggesting when either side is in the ascendency in this fixture, they are hard to stop.

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“No, we don't have a plan because we never know when the spells happen. I don't know,” admitted Pep.

“My season we went there we lost 1-0 and we didn't play well.

“We lost in Champions League - and I know the way we played - and in other games we have shown personality to play there.

“Sometimes when you don't win it's because the opponent is good. We know them quite well. They know what we will do.

“If they weren't good, it wouldn't have been City and Liverpool at the top all the time in recent seasons.

“That's the biggest compliment we can have as a club. We prepare tomorrow for this game and then come back stronger for October.”

Liverpool v City

We will have full coverage of Sunday’s game against Liverpool right here on ManCity.com

Our Matchday Centre will get under way at 14:30 UK time, with text updates throughout the day meaning you won't miss a beat. 

Our Matchday Live show starts around 15:25, when Joleon Lescott and David James will be our studio guests. 

And CITY+ subscribers can enjoy a full 90-minute replay from midnight. 

Find out more and sign up, here.

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