Tactical Analysis & Predicted Team: How Will Liverpool Play Against Man City?

By on November 25, 2011

It’s arguably the hardest game of the season. The only unbeaten team left in the division, and Liverpool face a stern test in Manchester City. Here we will look at how Liverpool will go about tackling the league leaders. Let’s start by looking at our formation versus Chelsea.


First of all, it’s a very balanced side. The defenders managed to successfully stifle out the threats of Malouda-Drogba-Mata and they limited them to few chances in the game.

On the other side, Liverpool essentially had 4 forwards. But unlike most other formations with 4 very attack minded players playing, we had two key types of players playing behind them. That would be a destroyer, whom Lucas Leiva was, breaking down play, and a distributor, whom was Adam, getting the ball to the forwards.

Less Reliance on Luis Suarez

Liverpool’s victory against Chelsea suggested that Liverpool were not in fact a one man team, as many had suggested our over-reliance on Luis Suarez. Liverpool’s 4 pronged attack meant the attackers stepped up, with Maxi Rodriguez in particular doing himself a favour with a neat display capped off with a goal.

So I conducted a bit of research, looking at Maxi Rodriguez’s strike rate. I came across these interesting statistics on AnfieldIndex.com.

  • Maxi (Rodriguez) a chance conversion rate of 47.06% (in context, Sergio Agüero has a chance conversion rate of 26.32% this season).

Other players like Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt stepped up to the plate as well. But it has to be said that Bellamy saw very little of the ball. Much of his activity was in drawing markers away and providing the passes for teammates. Plus, he did a super unselfish thing faking his shot to give Maxi Rodriguez his goal.

Strong Substitutes

Despite the strong Starting XI, Liverpool’s bench looks really strong as well. The likes of Stewart Downing, Martin Kelly, Jordan Henderson, Andy Carroll and even Martin Kelly providing the additional backup from the bench.

I’ve already written an article here how Jordan Henderson would be better off making an impact coming off the bench, and I maintain that opinion. Henderson came off the bench against the Blues and did a superb job in adding that positive energy and running along with accurate passing.

Andy Carroll must also not be written off, because as Kenny Dalglish says it all the time, signing him was for the long term. He has a lot of time, and from what I’ve heard, he’s even going through a boot camp to make him stronger and eat less, something along those lines. Apparently, it includes cutting off some of his hair as well.

Martin Kelly? I’m not sure where his future lies. It looks highly likely that Dalglish is grooming him to become a top class center back, hence not playing in recent weeks. He faces stiff competition in the likes of Agger, Carragher, Coates and Skrtel for that spot, but I’m more than happy to see him play in either right-back or center-back.

My Predicted Lineup

Reina

Johnson-Skrtel-Agger-Enrique

Adam-Lucas

Downing-Kuyt-Rodriguez

Suarez

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3 Comments

  1. Dale Marlow

    November 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Couple of points:

    I think Bellamy’s pass to Maxi for the first goal was the highlight of the season, it sends such a strong message to the rest of the players, for too long Liverpool have not played as a “team”, it was a clear indication that the players need to “do the right thing”, aside of which it took plenty of skill and ability to execute so well.

    I can see Martin Kelly as a CB, I don’t know what his mum’s been feeding him, but he’s grown into a pretty big guy. His mobility will also make him a very valuable player in the middle of the defence.

  2. collie

    November 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    I see Kelly as the heir to the RB position. Liverpool have a lot of centre backs, but Kelly has the required foot speed to deal with fleet wingers. Up front, Suarez certainly blends with Kuyt, Maxi and Bellamy better than the other choices, but I think Carroll certainly will be at Liverpool longer than them, and he seems to be getting the hang of playing with a super tricky, quick forward, and not thinking of himself as the main goal scorer. More goals will come to him that way.

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    March 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm

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