Manchester City
City weaknesses Liverpool can exploit
Trent Matthew
208 days ago
Manchester City are the two-time Premier League defending champions but they still have one or two weaknesses that leaders Liverpool can exploit on Sunday.

The biggest game of the season to date will take place at Anfield and it could prove a season-defining fixture as well, with hosts Liverpool currently holding a six-point advantage over second-placed City in the standings.

Of course, Pep Guardiola's side cannot be underestimated as they accumulated a staggering 198 points over the last two seasons and completed the domestic treble during the 2018-19 campaign.

However, the Citizens do still possess some weaknesses within their team, particularly at the back, with injuries to a number of key players having caused the reigning champions some problems over the opening months of the season.

The long-term absence of Aymeric Laporte, who will not be back in action until 2020, has been a particular blow, while the loss of form and minor knocks picked up by the likes of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi has not exactly helped matters.

Defensive midfielder Fernandinho has been forced to slot into the back four in the absence of regular centre-backs and, although he is capable of doing that job to a degree, he is 34 years old and may struggle when the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are running directly at him with pace.

Fernandinho's requirement in the back four and the injury absence of summer signing Rodri has also left City short of a genuine defensive midfielder.

Ilkay Gundogan is capable of playing that role against teams that allow City to have plenty of the ball as he provides another attacking option, but his ability to screen in front of the defence in big matches remains under question.

Reds forward Roberto Firmino is certainly clever enough to expose such a weakness and don't be surprised to see him drop into the areas Gundogan should be covering in order to influence the game.