Jurgen Klopp faced his first defeat as a Liverpool manager against Crystal Palace in the last League match before the International Break. The Liverpool team looks an improved side from the time the German has taken charge and they will travel to the Etihad to face the table toppers Manchester City in an exciting clash on Saturday.
Klopp will have to get his team right on the day if he wants to go out of this game with a result. Let’s take a look at 5 players that can have the kind of impact on this game that the manager will be hoping for.
1. Nathaniel Clyne (Defense):
Easily the most consistent player for the Reds at the back, Nathaniel Clyne seems to be enjoying his time at the Merseyside. He has played almost every game in the Premier League so far for Liverpool and has been a solid addition to the shaky back four. Klopp has also shown his faith in the ex-Southampton right back who is slowly growing in an attacking role as well. His defensive abilities will be put to test against a free-scoring City side and his performance can make a difference for the visitors.
2. Dejan Lovren (Defense):
Liverpool looked to have a settled centre-back pairing in Skrtel and Sakho, but the French international suffered an injury before the break that will keep him out of the game at least till the turn of the year. This makes the job of the ex-Southampton defender Dejan Lovren even more important. Lovren has failed to impress in any of the games he has played for the Reds, but this game against City gives him a great chance to prove himself to the critics and his fans.
3. Lucas Leiva (Midfield):
There are very few defensive mid-fielders who think like the Brazilian Lucas. He is a relentless defender who has no other though but to break up play in front of his back four. His tackling and awareness of the game have given the Klopp’s side a much needed defensive stability at the back. Hardly thinking about scoring goals, Lucas has been an exceptional player so far this season for the Reds and his performance will be crucial for Liverpool against Manchester City on Saturday.
4. Phillipe Coutinho (Midfield):
The best and the most attractive player for Klopp’s side this season, Coutinho will have his work cut out against the leaders of the league at the Etihad. Coutinho has the ability to create chances and goals out of nowhere and his spark and magic will be needed for Liverpool away from home. He can dribble past players, leave them embarrassed and also shoot from a distance as he has already shown in this season. He will have to be at his best on Saturday to give Liverpool a chance at a result at the Etihad.
5. Christian Benteke (Attack):
Benteke has been a good addition for the Liverpool side this season. He has scored 4 goals for the club already and is a focal point up front that the team missed last season. He has had a start-stop campaign this season suffering from injuries but he has been able to stay fir for the last month and will play a crucial role in Liverpool’s plans against Manchester City. He is very good in the air and is also strong in hold up play. He will provide a bit of strength even in set-pieces that the club seem to be lacking.
Reports from various papers have suggested that club captain Jordan Henderson and star striker Daniel Sturridge are fit enough to make the bench at the Etihad. The manager will be grinning with these additions and will hope that they will make a difference from the bench if things do not go as planned on Saturday.
Have your say on who can give Liverpool a result against Manchester City away from home.