Monday 24 June 2019

Pep Guardiola offers flattering compliment to Liverpool's front three ahead of Champions League showdown

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that Liverpool's attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are "unstoppable" ahead of Wednesday's all-English Champions League quarter-final at Anfield.

City suffered their only Premier League defeat of the season as they were blown away from Liverpool in a 4-3 thriller in January and now Guardiola has paid Jurgen Klopp's side the ultimate compliment by suggesting their attacking power is hard to halt.

"Not just Salah. Mane and Firmino, all three, they are almost unstoppable. They are fantastic, fantastic players," stated Guardiola.

"The way Liverpool play is so complicated for us. We know that. They are so quick, they are so good and it is tough, but it is the quarter-finals of the Champions League so we cannot expect, at that level, that something is going to be easy."

Guardiola admitted his side lost control of the game at Anfield earlier this season, with Liverpool goal scoring great John Aldridge suggesting the City boss may look to tweak his tactics following that chastening experience.

"I wonder whether Guardiola will look at what happened when he took on Liverpool in a straight fight and look to play things a little safe in this first leg at Anfield," states Aldridge.

"He won't do a Jose Mourinho and put up the defensive barricades as that is not his style, but I remember City winning 1-0 at Chelsea earlier this season and it was an example of a team biding their time and waiting for the moment to strike.

"They have first-hand experience to confirm that Liverpool have the scoring power to blow them away in front of a sell-out Anfield crowd, so Guardiola may look to learn some lessons from the 4-3 defeat a few weeks back and make sure he doesn't see a repeat.

"Maybe his full-backs won't bomb forward as much as they normally do, maybe he will look to toughen up his midfield and he could even have a plan to keep Mo Salah and the rest of the Liverpool forward line quiet."

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