Liverpool and Manchester City meet in a top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Anfield on Sunday afternoon and we asked the experts which side had the better defence heading into the encounter.
The two teams have so far enjoyed unbeaten league starts to the new season, with both having picked up 19 points from their opening seven matches.
Liverpool vs Man City
October 7, 2018, 4:15pm
However, while Pep Guardiola’s side lead the way courtesy of their superior goal difference – both teams have conceded just three goals so far this campaign – Liverpool have kept a clean sheet in their last eight home games in the league.
So, which of the top two has the more trustworthy back line then heading into the titanic Super Sunday clash on Merseyside? The pundits give us their verdicts…
Matt Le Tissier
Liverpool have certainly improved since Virgil van Dijk was brought in, so I’d go for them. The Van Dijk-Joe Gomez partnership is looking solid and the full backs are also playing a part by looking strong defensively, as well as contributing in attack by driving forward.
This is a tremendously even area. I think both starting defences are very close, but Manchester City have more depth. Will Dejan Lovren remain happy being out of the side? He thinks he is one of the best in the world, so if he doesn’t get more game time, will he want off in January and then that takes even more out of Liverpool? In terms of the ‘keepers, I’d go for Ederson at the moment – just. It’s a great question, and so hard to give a clear answer, as it’s so even.
It’s a really tough question, but I’ll nudge to Liverpool. The reason I say that is purely down to the fact Liverpool have a more settled back five this season. Manchester City have rotated the centre-backs and tried different players at left-back a fair amount already. I’m not sure if that’s down to injuries or easing players back in after the World Cup, but because they are more settled I’ll say Liverpool.
Liverpool’s best four is better, but if there are injuries along the way, then Man City have players who can come in, so I am going to have to side with them. You saw in the Carabao Cup game last week (against Chelsea) that Liverpool are one injury away from… I know Dejan Lovren thinks he is the best in the world, but I think he would be a worry and if one of the younger full-backs got injured…. So Liverpool’s first four are stronger, but City have greater strength in depth.
I think Liverpool, up until this point, have a more solid defence. You don’t see the frailties of City’s defence because you don’t get to it – they do so well at keeping the ball. Liverpool as a defensive unit will probably go on to be better though. It’s because of Andy Robertson, as well as Virgil van Dijk, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, they’ve got pace and with Joe Gomez, they’ve got pace, skill, intelligence and athleticism.
I would say Liverpool at the moment. It’s a more settled back four and in Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, they’ve developed a very strong partnership. Man City’s back four is a little less predictable with Pep perhaps still looking for the right combination.