Jamie Redknapp joined the Essential Football Podcast and explained why he believes Mohamed Salah is in his way of life and how Liverpool’s style may force Pep Guardiola to rethink tactics. Watch Liverpool vs Man City live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday; Start 16.30 h
Soccer expert and columnist
September 1, 2021 6:17 PM, UK
Salah in top form and can be Liverpool’s star again on Sunday
I have seen Mohamed Salah a lot, I have watched him closely and he is playing as well as I have ever seen him.
Salah’s complete game right now is phenomenal. His work rate, his desire, his goals, his assists… I haven’t seen him in better shape.
He is in the shape of his life. He is confident, strong and has the bite between his teeth. He is enjoying having Virgil van Dijk back and knowing that he is playing for a team that can win the title again. He is in wonderful shape and it is a pleasure to see him.
False nines allow Manchester City to play like they did at Chelsea, but they lack that clinical striker
I thought City were fantastic against Chelsea. When Pep Guardiola doesn’t have a forward playing, he can have so many people comfortable with the ball and dominate it, and that is something he has always wanted to do since his days at Barcelona. They kept him away from Chelsea and pushed very well because they had a lot of midfielders who enjoy that part of the game.
But Man City loved Harry Kane and they would have been so much better with him. In certain games, when he’s tight, when you need a goal or a magic moment from someone, Kane is an incredible spiker. I think they will miss not having that standout No. 9 in the long run and so I am not convinced they will win the title this year.
Of course they have all the possibilities, but if you look at it right now, Chelsea and Liverpool would be the favorites. Liverpool have Salah, Chelsea have Romelu Lukaku.
City may need to modify Chelsea game tactics to beat Liverpool
The result against PSG in the middle of the week, that can happen because of the quality of the players that he has. But I think Guardiola would have liked the performance against Chelsea and I would not be surprised if he thought, ‘Let’s try to do that again at Liverpool’.
However, Liverpool will not play in the same way as Chelsea. If City tries to pressure them, Liverpool will lose by going more direct. Liverpool play more long balls than Chelsea because it works for them with the rhythm they have up front.
I don’t think they push that high from the front because they know Liverpool are happy to go a little further, turn you around and try to keep Salah behind.
Liverpool must get the ball to Salah to win the game
Liverpool will have that goal confidence boost midweek, while Man City, after two tough games, Guardiola might have to change his package.
I have the feeling that Liverpool will win this match. The confidence that runs through the veins of this team. Salah is in the form of his life and will cause this Man City defense problems.
The City sides will want to run to the other side, but if they leave room for Salah, he will leave them open. The City defense is great with Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias, but he keeps giving the ball to Salah because teams can’t live with him right now.
One to watch: Curtis Jones
I’m a huge fan of Curtis Jones, I love the way he plays. He can score goals, he has good energy, he works hard for the team … In a way, his nose could have been thrown out of joint when Harvey Elliott was starting earlier in the season. He probably thought when Georginio Wijnaldum was leaving that this is a great opportunity for him, but he had to wait. That Elliott injury has given him a chance and he’s certainly taken advantage of it. He was very good in the middle of the week, against Brentford he got his goal well.
He is a local boy and that is something Liverpool fans love to see. I am very impressed with the options they have, with very good young players. I like how they look. You cannot rule out this Liverpool. If they can keep their key players in shape, they look fantastic right now.
Peter Smith joins Sky Sports insider Jamie Redknapp, as well as soccer writers Gerard Brand and Simeon Gholam, to look ahead to the Premier League weekend …
PART 1 | Jamie Redknapp explains why he thinks Liverpool will improve on their big showdown with Man City at Anfield on Sunday. The Sky Sports expert also looks at Curtis Jones’ rise and City’s threat in attack.
PART 2 | We consider whether Arsenal are now in a position to take advantage of their big derby day win over Tottenham when they go to Brighton. And what constitutes the success of the Seagulls this season?
PART 3 | There is much praise for Conor Gallagher as we discuss Crystal Palace’s improved form and the future of the Chelsea borrower, before examining a slow start to the season from Leicester.