IS THE PREMIER LEAGUE RACE REALLY BETWEEN MAN CITY AND LIVERPOOL?
Liverpool Premier League

Is the Premier League really a race between Man City and Liverpool?

No sane person should be making predictions after only 6 games of the season. Unless, that is, you have Sane in your team. We apologise for the pun. Liverpool have started the season in impressive fashion. 13 points from 6 games is an excellent return. When you consider that they have played Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea away, it transforms in to championship form. Klopp has remedied a long-term problem of Liverpool’s: slow starts.

an army of attacking midfielders

Arsene Wenger, the sweet lover of creative midfielders, must be feeling jealous. Klopp has an arsenal (get it) of wingers and midfielders to bamboozle defences. Up front, even when Sturridge inevitably gets knee/thing/nipple knack, there’s plenty of replacements. Lallana looks world-class. Lallana! Gegenpressing takes it out of a team, but Liverpool have strength in depth.

city really should have won last year

In a “how not to handle a dismissal” instruction manual, the Manuel Pellegrini chapter is a must read. A 6-month notice period is not recommended. The Chilean coach and his players knew his time was up. City had the best squad in the league, but were disorganised and complacent. If Pep had been there last year, Leicester would have missed their miracle.

What about the other contenders?

Manchester United look set to have a roller coaster season. Mourinho will need time to find his best 11. Sorry, Rooney.  A return to the Champions League should be deemed a success. Spurs? Harry Kane is injured, which is a negative. Liverpool outplayed them in front of their own fans. Potch’s men finished third last year after completely falling apart in the last few games. This year will be tougher. Spurs have started well but have not been tested yet. Logically, they will also have to finish behind Arsenal. Wenger’s team has started well, but with Arsenal, you just know a crisis is only around the corner. An injury to Sanchez or Ozil, and they’ll be screwed.

CITY AND LIVERPOOL TO BATTLE IT OUT

There are similarities between the two teams. Both play with one central striker (normally Aguero and Firminho). Pacy “wing-forwards” on either side to terrorise defences. 4 at the back for each. The main difference is that Liverpool play Jordan Henderson in the hole, while City typically play two in DM. There is a similar intensity to their games. Pressurizing defences in the final third. Klopp and Guardiola are also big advocates for possession based football. After a rocky start to Klopp’s campaign, this approach is now paying dividends (disclaimer = Lucas). Pep has simply hit the ground running.

EARLY DAYS BUT THEY’RE THE 2 STANDOUTS

City have been easily swatting opponents away. They outplayed their arch-rivals away from home and have not look rattled since their opening day late win against Sunderland (Moyes’s pinnacle, perhaps?). Barca will test them in the Champions League, but they have the squad to cope with European demands. Liverpool do not even have to worry about Europe! This helped Brendan Rogers’ side to nearly capture the title. Klopp will benefit too and could even go all the way.

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