After a detoxing international break, competitions across the globe will resume. So is the Premier League. And with the amount of huge clubs, a fixture between two titans recurs almost every weekend. This match round isn’t any different. You got the encounter between Everton – Tottenham too, but our focus will be on the clash between two world-class managers on Saturday: Guardiola versus Klopp. Or Manchester City against Liverpool for that matter. Both sides have improved significantly over the summer and have obtained seven points in their first three games. Which of them will surpass the other? Or will this clash of titans end in a draw?
When looking at our ‘title odds-article’ at the start of this season: City were crowned top favourites by the bookmakers; while Liverpool is the true dark horse of the top-6. Like I said in so-named article, I agree and disagree at the same time. I find it logical that City are the likely ‘table toppers’ after this campaign, but I found the odd for a Liverpudlian-title quite high.
Klopp has proven to be a world-class manager. He managed to create cracks in the German hegemony of Munich with his Dortmund, and why shouldn’t he succeed once again? Klopp let’s play his side with so much pressure – a sight for sore eyes. But will this approach be successful versus such an brilliant passing side, who always stay composed when in ball possession? I don’t Liverpool can and will utilize such a strategy. But Klopp has proven to be tactically flexible over the years. My guess is that The Reds will be play very deep without any aggression on the ball until City are reaching dangerous areas (in and around the box).
Guardiola plays very patiently with his super team. Many teams have tried to emulate his philosophy, but couldn’t be quite successful as the Spaniard. The reason for this: individual world-class players. Is his approach somewhat toothless in a fixture? Players such as Iniesta, Robben and now De Bruyne will always have – at least – one brilliant moment to decide the game in their favour.
Manchester City added the most revolutionary manager across the globe to their staff in the summer of 2016. After an unsuccessful year, the board has given him several world-class players to reach their goals (Premier League title + performing in the Champions League). And that will be a deadly combination. Real Madrid are currently the best of the world, but I do think that Manchester City are runners-up when looking at the squad strength/depth. Their defensive organisation have improved enormously with the arrival of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo. All three are such a huge upgrade on the departed wingbacks Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Aleksander Kolarov.
Both Guardiola as Klopp are fantastic managers, who’ve proven their worth in salt. This encounter will be a highly interesting one. Especially on the tactical aspect. Such coaches won’t make huge mistakes tactically, so this match will be decided by ‘that one moment’ created by the better players. And I think that City holds more of those footballers, meaning I expect a home win for The Citizens.