Liverpool put the defence of their Premier League title to the ultimate test this weekend against Manchester City and Jamie Carragher expects Jurgen Klopp to resort to his old tactics. Other than an embarrassing 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa last month, Liverpool have enjoyed a strong start to the campaign.
They currently sit top of the Premier League as well as having won all three of their Champions League group stage matches so far.
City aren’t too far away as they currently have a game in hand which could put them two points behind Liverpool.
A win at the Etihad against Klopp’s side would then put them in the ascendency to overtake Liverpool having played one game less.
Games between City and Liverpool over the past two seasons have been crucial in the title race.
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Liverpool finished just one point behind Pep Guardiola’s side in the 2018/19 season having failed to beat City in either league fixture between the two sides that campaign.
The Reds then ran riot last season, winning the league by 19 points, and won a pivotal November meeting between the two teams at Anfield.
It’s expected to be much closer this season and games between Liverpool and City could once again decide who holds the Premier League title aloft in May.
Diogo Jota is the man in form at Anfield having bagged a hat-trick in the recent 5-0 win over Atalanta.
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But Carragher believes Klopp will opt to bring Firmino back into the starting line-up alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
“Jota’s form warrants a start, you can’t argue about that, but I just think the manager will go back to Firmino, the way they’ve set up before,” he said on Sky Sports’ Pitch to Post Podcast
“I think Firmino this season, he’s not been at his best, there’s no doubt. I don’t think he was at his best last season.
“But they’ve always performed in the big games – Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea.
“That’s when teams play out from the back and that’s when Bobby Firmino is a huge part of that press and winning the ball back and almost not letting teams get out of their own half.
“That was certainly the case in those three games I mentioned, those teams really struggled to get through the press of Liverpool.
“I think Jurgen Klopp will know that Man City want to play out from the back and he’ll go with his pressing machine.
“There’s no doubt Jota can do this as well, ‘he’s a pressing monster’, that was the description of him from Pep Lijnders, Jurgen Klopp’s assistant, so there’s no worries about him on that score.
“But I just think for this game and the type of game it will be and the fact that Bobby has played so many games against Man City and Liverpool have had success in those games, I just think he’ll go back to that.”
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