Friday 27 April 2018

Manchester City v Liverpool: The key battles

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge

While Manchester City dominated against most opponents in the league last year, Liverpool - along with Chelsea - were one of the few teams to cause real problems both home and away.

Ahead of Monday's clash at the Etihad, Press Association Sport looks at the key battles in a fixture City had to come from behind to win 2-1 last season.

Daniel Sturridge v Vincent Kompany

Whether Mario Balotelli is to join or not, for now Liverpool's line is led by another former Manchester City player. But without Luis Suarez to worry about, Kompany will be focused entirely on controlling City academy graduate Sturridge, who is already back in the goals after his winner against Southampton last week.

Yaya Toure v Steven Gerrard

Liverpool are hoping Gerrard's international retirement can prolong his club career after his move to a deep lying role directing traffic. But the test of whether he can still mix it with the best comes with a match-up against Yaya Toure, a player who can operate just about anywhere and who is looking to build on a season in which he bagged 20 goals.

Edin Dzeko v Martin Skrtel

Liverpool's Achilles heel last season was a defence that shipped 50 goals - 13 more than City who finished two points clear of them. Sergio Aguero is still not match fit so they should avoid the task of facing him from the start, but Edin Dzeko comes into the match after a superb display at Newcastle in which he showed he can be about much more than just scoring goals.

Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure

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