Liverpool should focus on stopping Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne over Erling Haaland, says Jamie Carragher – Sky Sports

  • October 15, 2022

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool host Manchester City at Anfield as underdogs; the Reds are 13 points behind the Premier League champions who lie in second place; watch Liverpool vs Manchester City live on Sky Sports Super Sunday this weekend from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm
Football Expert and Columnist
Saturday 15 October 2022 07:16, UK
Speaking on the Essential Football podcast, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher analyses where this weekend’s Super Sunday clash between Liverpool and Manchester City will be won and lost.
I don’t think Liverpool are in the title race, not because of the points difference behind Manchester City – they’re not just playing well enough. They don’t look like a team capable of challenging for the title.
Right now, I think Jurgen Klopp and everyone associated would be Liverpool would be quite pleased with a top-four position come the end of the season. Then see how well they do in the cups and then try and restructure for next season in terms of going for the biggest trophies.
I don’t think the 7-1 win over Rangers in midweek will trick Jurgen Klopp into thinking that everything’s fine. Liverpool have had a few results this season where you think: is this the one that gets them back on track?
They had the 9-0 win over Bournemouth and a couple of good results in the Champions League and you’d think, on the back of that, Liverpool would do well and then they put in a performance like they do against Brighton. It’s been really stop-start.
From Jurgen Klopp’s point of view, he will know the difference between Rangers and Manchester City is like night and day.
Everyone will be in a good mood – supporters and players will probably be looking forward to the Manchester City game a lot more after the trepidation of Arsenal – but I don’t think anyone has felt like Liverpool have turned a corner.
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I still feel Liverpool can win this game, there’s no doubt about that. They have top-quality players who haven’t hit their form this season. They can produce that in a one-off game at home against Man City.
Two Manchester City players jump out as players to watch for Liverpool – Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, but they’re almost like a package together!
I’d almost be more focused on De Bruyne rather than Haaland in this game. If you stop De Bruyne, you take 50 per cent away from Haaland as well as the connection the two have got is there already. And for me, De Bruyne is the best midfielder in the world.
Yes, Haaland has been an absolute sensation in the Premier League but he needs servicing and you can’t get anyone better than De Bruyne.
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When you’ve got the best passer of the ball that the Premier League has ever seen, it certainly helps when you have Haaland up front.
If Haaland was playing for Liverpool right now, there’s no way he would have scored the amount of goals he has now as he wouldn’t have had that quality behind him, plus the way Liverpool are playing right now.
I’ve got no problem with Mo Salah right now. A lot of people are looking at his actual position, is he getting into enough goalscoring positions?
Well, I don’t think Klopp has changed his role, he’s just not found himself in dangerous positions as much.
People are questioning Salah, but he’s set his standards. While we’re talking about Haaland this season, that was Salah in his first season. We shouldn’t forget that he scored 25 to 30 goals every season and I think he’ll get close to that again.
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But it’s difficult for any player to play at their best when the team is not playing well and winning. That is a big problem.
Individuals need to improve for Liverpool but as a collective they need to improve, then the individual performances will get closer to the last few years.
I don’t expect Liverpool to take a backward step – it’s not their style. They’re at Anfield so I expect to use the crowd and be really aggressive and make it as difficult as they can for Manchester City.
I think it will be a tough game for both. Manchester City don’t have a great record at Anfield but Liverpool are up against the best team in the world. I think it will be a great game and a draw again – 1-1 or 2-2 like last season.
Watch Liverpool vs Manchester City live on Sky Sports Super Sunday this weekend from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm
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