Manchester City:Hart, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy, Fernando, Nasri, Touré, Silva, Jovetic, Dzeko
Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Milner, Navas, Aguero
Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Moreno, Skrtel, Lovren, Gerrard, Henderson, Allen, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge
Subs: Jones, Manquillo, Sakho, Toure, Can, Markovic, Lambert
Manchester City vs Liverpool: Premier League Preview
GUEST POST by @JamesMartin013
In just the second gameweek of the season, the Premier League is treating us to what promises to be an excellent match. The winners of last season are up against the runners-up who pushed them right to the wire last time out, and both will want to put a marker down early for the new season. Liverpool have already drawn first blood, emerging triumphant on penalties after a 2-2 draw in pre-season, but this time around there’s more at stake than pride.
The meeting between the sides in pre-season could well prove to be a foreshadowing of what we will see in this game. When Manchester City face Liverpool, a high-scoring affair is usually the order of the day. Both sides have defensive frailties, and the attacking strength of the two teams mean these frailties get exploited. Liverpool struggled to contain the not particularly inspiring Southampton attack in their first match of the season, so coming up against the likes of Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero will certainly be testing for them. City too looked below par in the opening game; though they didn’t concede, that was more down to Newcastle’s woeful finishing than City’s excellent defending. As such, the front men of both teams will be licking their lips at the prospect of this fixture. In terms of Fantasy Premier League, all three of Sergio Aguero, Daniel Sturridge and Edin Dzeko could be on for good points. Raheem Sterling is also one who could score well; he has been playing as a second striker of late, a position from where he can get lots of goals. This could be the last game in which Sterling features up front, as the imminent arrival of Mario Balotelli will surely force the 19 year old to move back into the number 10 role.
Does this mean that playing any Liverpool or Manchester City defenders in your fantasy team this week is definitely a mistake? Not necessarily. Liverpool are notoriously bad at dealing with set pieces, so the City centre-backs stand a decent chance of notching from a corner or free kick. Liverpool’s defenders stand less chance of scoring well, but new boy Alberto Moreno could make his debut, and he has a reputation for running at defenders and generally exhibiting an attacking style- this could lead to assists. Still, it would certainly be classed as a gamble to field any of these players, as a clean sheet for either side looks distinctly unlikely.
Both sides have distinct danger men. The threats of Daniel Sturridge, Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have already been mentioned, but there are others to watch out for. One man Liverpool will be particularly wary of is Yaya Toure. With Fernandinho/Fernando playing deep, Toure will be able to push on up the field with more freedom than he did last season. This could result in an even higher goal and assist tally for him than in the last campaign. David Silva and Samir Nasri are also ones that, from a Fantasy point of view, could score points- in a stretched game, they have the potential to pick a killer pass that undoes the entire defence and sends someone clean through on goal. Liverpool, too, have players who could score points. Coutinho and Henderson are in some ways the Liverpool equivalent of Silva and Nasri- either of them could pick up an assist. It was Henderson who picked the glorious pass for Sterling’s goal against Southampton; he is clearly a very able player.
Both Liverpool and Manchester City exhibit a refreshing, expansive, attacking style of play. Clever, intricate passes are combined with incisive runs to produce marvellous goals. This is one of the reasons why they both score so many (they were the two highest scorers last season), but also one of the reasons why they concede with such regularity. Inevitably, committing multiple players forward to try and create an opening results in holes being left at the back. Due to this, I think we can expect to see an exciting, end to end sort of game. This will suit Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling, whose pace makes them well-suited to mounting attacks quickly.
The very nature of football dictates that all of this could be totally wrong. The art of prediction is a very imprecise one, and this fact is what makes fantasy football such an interesting, at times extremely frustrating game. Although on paper it seems clear that this game will feature goals on both sides, it might end up being a dull 0-0 draw! Still, seeing as I’m previewing the match and all that, I’ll take a stab at a score prediction. I think we’ll see a repeat of when the sides met in America in pre-season: a 2-2 draw.
My name is James Martin, (follow me on Twitter @JamesMartin013) and I’m a keen blogger as well as a huge Liverpool fan. I’m also a complete FPL addict. I guest blog for multiple websites, and have my own blog (www.jamesmartinblogs.blogspot.com) where you can see all of my Liverpool-related articles. Enjoy!