Three key battles in Liverpool v Manchester City: Aguero could destroy Klavan
By Emma Sanders
Ahead of the clash between Liverpool and Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, Football Insider takes a look at three key battles that could decide the game.
Ragnar Klavan v Sergio Aguero
This could be the ultimate battle. If Klavan fails to deal with the pace and quality of Aguero, it could be all over for Liverpool within a matter of minutes as the striker has the ability to destroy him. The Estonian centre-back is not first choice and despite some really encouraging displays of late, he is still a considerable step down from Joel Matip who will miss the clash through injury. Klavan’s experienced and confident but he doesn’t have the pace or aerial strength of Matip, and Aguero is strong in both departments despite his lack of height. Liverpool will be hoping for a man-of-the-match performance from their defender.
Bacary Sagna v Roberto Firmino
City’s right-back has not proved highly consistent this season, though he is more solid in defence than Pablo Zabaleta. He will be hugely tested on Saturday when he is up against Liverpool’s creative forward Firmino. The Brazilian has been excellent for the Reds under Jurgen Klopp and he was superb again in the victory against Stoke.
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Yaya Toure v Jordan Henderson
Rather than a test of pace or skill, this match-up between Toure and Henderson could be a battle of strength. Both midfielders are in the side because of their ability to break down play and power through opponents, but Toure may have the better of the pair in this battle. Henderson will need to be at his best to keep Toure quiet and make sure he doesn’t have space to run at Liverpool’s midfield.
In other Liverpool news, Klopp makes this prediction ahead of the clash with City.