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Man City could be dealt injury setback before Liverpool that would be major Pep Guardiola blow and liverpool are of adventage 



Man City could be dealt injury setback before Liverpool that would be major Pep Guardiola blow and liverpool are of adventage

Liverpool and Man City have very different lengths of injury lists at the moment. But Pep Guardiola may be missing a player who could have a massive influence.

If you take a look at the respective injury lists ahead of Liverpool vs Manchester City, only one side can have legitimate cause for complaints. Erik ten Hag has suggested that injuries are the reason for his Manchester United struggles this season, but the Dutchman should take a look at Jürgen Klopp’s problems.

It can simultaneously be true, of course, that both Liverpool and Manchester United have suffered bad fortune on that front, but only one of the teams has been able to deal with it. And ahead of Manchester City, Klopp has at least got Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai back available again.

Nonetheless, a grand total of as many as 10 Liverpool players could sit the game out. That is a number that has been seen frequently in the build-up to recent fixtures. Salah and Szoboszlai are back but it remains to be seen if

Liverpool’s injury list reads as follows: Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcântara, Curtis Jones, Ryan Gravenberch, Stefan Bajčetić, Joël Matip, Ben Doak, and potentially Konaté too. That, quite clearly, is extensive. At least three of those players would have been guaranteed to start against Manchester City had they been fit and multiple others would have been involved.

Pep Guardiola will be without Matheus Nunes while he is sweating over both Jérémy Doku and Jack Grealish. And that’s it.

“My process is which players I will have — if Doku or Jack will be ready, we will know tomorrow,” the Manchester City boss said in his Friday press conference. “We can adjust something if they [are able to train and then play].”

While the extent of the injury list is small for Manchester City, and Nunes would have been unlikely to start at Anfield anyway, the potential lack of Grealish could be crucial. Even though the former Aston Villa man does not score or assist anywhere near enough to justify his $129m (£100m/€117m) price tag, he can have a massive influence on matches like these.

Grealish’s ability to draw fouls and drag his team upfield can be hugely important in relieving pressure, and away at an intense Anfield, Manchester City could do with that. Guardiola will know that he cannot repeat a mistake he has made in the past and incite the home support and rile it even more.

When the atmosphere is hot, the best way of disrupting that — and ensuring that Liverpool does not get into a flow of attacks, building momentum, and drawing on the home crowd — is to break up the play. Keeping possession, winning free-kicks, and just holding onto the ball for a bit, will stem the tide.

For Liverpool, then, it could be vital if Grealish doesn’t play. While Doku’s fitness status is not 100 per cent confirmed yet, he doesn’t have the skillset that Grealish has. Others like Phil Foden can do it — and he is in exceptional form — but Grealish is the master.

Of course, the players that Liverpool will be missing are far more influential overall. Klopp will be without several starters and therefore his bench will be weakened as a result. But if Grealish does end up missing out, that would be a big Manchester City blow.


Liverpool have come ‘really close’ to completing the signing of Georgiy Sudakov from Shakhtar Donetsk despite a six-way battle unfolding for the attacking midfielder, a report has explained.

Sudakov signed a new contract with Shakhtar last month, meaning he is now protected by a €150m release clause (equivalent to £127.7m), but various clubs across Europe have been queuing up for the 21-year-old.

According to CalciomercatoLiverpool are the ‘only’ suitors to have come ‘really close’ to signing Sudakov so far, having recently been paying a lot of attention to the evolution of their midfield.

If Sudakov is still on Liverpool’s radar ahead of the summer transfer window – and the implication is that he is, despite their recruitment team and manager changing – they will face plenty of competition for him.

The Italian report claims Juventus and Napoli are interested in the playmaker, but there is an awareness that he might be beyond reach for Italian teams.

More likely contenders for his signature could include Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich in addition to presumably the leading admirers, Liverpool.

And that kind of move could appeal to Sudakov, who has admitted his ambition is to arrive in one of Europe’s top five leagues. Speaking to Sport Italia, he has cited the Premier League as one of the most ‘incredible’.

Liverpool or Manchester City could become the ultimate destination, then, but he may have to be patient since his new deal is due to last until 2028.

How has Sudakov been doing for Shakhtar?

Since progressing from the Shakhtar academy into their first team, Sudakov has scored and assisted 14 goals each within 90 appearances (15 of which have come in the Champions League).

Comfortable on either foot, he tends to operate in behind a striker, but can feature in a more orthodox central midfield role or even wide on the left.

Whether there is still room for him at Liverpool will depend on how their system changes under a new manager next season, following the summer resignation of Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool’s midfield welcomed in Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch and Dominik Szoboszlai last summer. If there is room for another addition, it might realistically be a more defensive midfielder than Sudakov, but only time will tell.

It is worth noting that Sudakov is unlikely to cost the full value of his release clause. A fee of €150m seems ambitious for a player with his relatively limited experience, but will mainly be there to protect Shakhtar.

It could also be a sign of how strongly they believe in Sudakov’s potential, which could lead to him stepping up to a club of Liverpool’s level in the long term.