The question lingering in mind is-how do you beat Liverpool? Manchester City boss, Pep Guardiola believes he has the answer to the question.
Liverpool remains unbeaten after 11 Premier League games. The club is six points clear of City at the top of the table. However, while their results have been extremely impressive, their progress this season had not all been plain sailing.
The biggest problem Klopp has had over the season is playing against teams that use the 3-5-2 formation. This has been made clear in the match against Sheffield United, Manchester United and Genk on Tuesday in the Champions League.
“I am sure Guardiola has spotted it too. So it would not surprise me if he changes his side’s shape from their usual 4-3-3.
We know how hard it is to finish Liverpool off. They have not lost in the League since a 2-1 defeat by City at Etihad Stadium in January. Additionally, the club has earned itself a reputation for being able to fight and win after going behind.
But Guardiola will have seen there is a way to hurt the leaders and he knows the defending champions are better than the teams that have already tried that system and field.
His players will be capable of executing the plan better. This because they are more clinical to punish Liverpool when they get scoring opportunities.
So, why wouldn’t he implement similar tactics? Play with three at the back and believe that City can become the first team to see the plan through?
Why 3-5-2 works against Liverpool
Using 3-5-2 formation against Liverpool’s 4-3-3 shape allows your two center-forwards to run in behind either on the left of the Reds defense in the channel between Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson or in the other side, in the area around Van Dijk’s center-back partner and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
This stops Liverpool’s full-backs from advancing and closing down their opposing wing-back. This because they are thinking they cannot move too far up the pitch and leave the center-half on their side isolated.
The knock-on effect noticed in the past few weeks is the opposition wing-backs progress further up the pitch and that drags Liverpool’s midfielders and forwards deeper too.
So, while Liverpool is so dangerous down the flanks, they have been left with much greater distance to travel when they get possession and look to attack.
This has left them with the need to find a different approach to get forward and create chances. So far, Klopp has always found a way. Nonetheless, he has not taken on a team as good as City so far this season.