Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has opined that his former club has an edge over rivals Manchester City in the title race. The Premier League title race is going to be a nail-biting one as only one point separates the two clubs. Manchester City lead the table with 70 points, whereas Liverpool are just behind on 69. Though City are tipped to win the premier league, Liverpool have made a significant improvement.
However, Carragher has insisted that Liverpool will be the eventual champions this season. And to support his argument, Carragher has pin-pointed Liverpool’s key area where they triumph City. Carragher said, “I think right now Liverpool have a better squad than Man City. I think the signing of Luis Díaz and the injuries that look OK for Liverpool, you look at the bench and it is actually stronger than Man City’s, certainly in terms of numbers.”
Well we take a close look at the squads of both City and Liverpool to analyse Jamie’s point.
Liverpool vs Manchester City for the squad depth; Goalkeepers
Liverpool- Alisson Becker, Caoimhin Kelleher
Manchester City- Ederson, Zack Steffen
Alisson and Ederson, both the Brazilians are undisputed starters for Liverpool and Manchester City respectively. However, it is difficult to pick a winner out of both. Alisson has quite good all-round qualities. Ederson is confident on the ball, with proper distributing qualities; well no surprise as he plays for Pep Guardiola.
Both Liverpool and Manchester City have decent back-up ‘keepers. Kelleher and Steffen have helped their respective teams to win the League Cup.
Liverpool- Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Konaté, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Tsimikas
Manchester City- Joao Cancelo, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones, Nathan Aké, Zinchenko
No doubt Liverpool have the best full-backs in the world on either sides. Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are ripping apart the opponents season-after-season. Manchester lag behind as they have only Cancelo as a world-class full-back. However, the Portugal full-back can exceptionally play on both the flanks. Kyle Walker is brilliant as well, but when comparing with Liverpool full-backs, the Manchester City player falls behind. Back-ups concerned, Tsimikas is a good option, for replacement to Robertson. But Alexander-Arnold’s side has no second-in-command. City have Zinchenko on the left, while we better not talk about Benjamin Mendy.
As far as the center-backs, City may have the solid Ruben Dias, but he is no Van Dijk. The Dutch is arguably the best defender in the world right now. Moreover, Liverpool have a far superior depth with Joe Gomez, Ibrahim Konate. Pep also has Laporte who has been consistent, but Ake is nowhere.
Liverpool- Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, James Milner
Manchester City- Fernandinho, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan
Abundance of talent in the middle of the park. Fabinho for Liverpool and Rodri for Manchester City, both are crucial. But in terms of impact, Fabinho edges Rodri. Nothing taken away from Rodri’s qualities, but Fabinho’s presence in the Liverpool midfield is greater. Moving on to their bright-minds, Liverpool have Thiago, while city boast Silva and De Bruyne. However, De Bruyne this term was troubled by injuries and has failed to perform to regular standards. Bernanrdo Silva has stepped-up massively for Manchester City.
Liverpool do have young and exciting back-ups in midfield. Harvey Elliot and Curtis Jones are the future of the Reds’ midfield. But City have a quality depth with established stars in Gundogan and Fernandinho.
Liverpool- Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, Diogo Jota, Luis Díaz, Minamino, Origi
Manchester City- Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus
Liverpool and Manchester City both boast ferocious attacks. Liverpool are blessed with Salah and Jota who are goal-machines. To put it in stats, Liverpool’s top-five options, Salah, Mane, Jota, Firmino and Diaz have had a total of 93 goal contributions between them this season in all competitions. While City top-five, Sterling, Mahrez, Grealish, Foden and Jesus have 90. But City’s lack of an out-and-out striker means they don’t have a proper finisher who ranks among the best.
Liverpool certainly posses a formidable attack who have stopped at nothing. Addition of £40 million Luis Diaz in January has looked far better than City’s £100 million Grealish. The former Aston Villa star will improve with time, but Diaz has quickly amalgamated himself in Klopp’s set-up.
Liverpool fare better in attack, while at par in defence and goalkeeper departments with Manchester City. The midfield however is simply for City’s to boast about. Pep has the best midfield in the league, which is exceptionally backed-up as well. But Jamie Carragher’s comments are justified since Liverpool clearly have a better depth.
In other words, it can be said that Liverpool have a depth which performs at its best whenever called-upon. The Reds’ League Cup triumph is the best example where the reliability of their depth was highlighted. As a result, this depth could well be the key to Liverpool going all the way in the league as well as the Champions League.
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