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 By Michael Cox

To beat Man City, you need to press them but it's easier said than done

Craig Burley examines Manchester City's back line after their loss to Liverpool and weighs in on whether additions are needed in January.
Craig Burley examines Manchester City's back line after their loss to Liverpool and weighs in on whether additions are needed in January.
Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol describes his wave of emotions and explains what Jurgen Klopp's side did right in their win over Man City.

We're 23 games into the 38-game Premier League season and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have finally been defeated. Sunday's wild 4-3 defeat at Anfield was, in truth, a much tighter game than the scoreline suggests, the goals tally boosted by a couple of defensive errors and some excellent finishing.

Nevertheless, Liverpool's approach should be commended: they pressed in advanced positions to force those defensive errors at the start of the second half and City's upcoming opponents will consider...

 By Michael Cox

Sterling's improvement owes much to a new-look Man City

Man City have a miserable record at Anfield not winning there since 2003. Can the league leaders change that on Sunday?
ESPN FC's Jonathan Smith and Mark Ogden break down the keys to Sunday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City.
With Naby Keita striking a frustrated figure in training, the FC panel discuss the likelihood the Leipzig midfielder joins Liverpool this transfer window.

Ahead of Raheem Sterling's return to his former club, Liverpool, there will be plenty of debate over the difference between Liverpool-era Sterling and City-era Sterling, along with questions about precisely how he's improved so much. But that's a slightly false debate -- or, at least, it's not the most interesting debate.

The key is precisely what has changed between last season and this. After all, Sterling was playing under Pep Guardiola last season, yet his performances were entirely unremarkable...

Can Liverpool succeed where everyone else has failed and beat Man City?

With Pep Guardiola continuing to field strong teams in all competitions, the FC guys question if he is putting his star players at risk.

It is the dilemma that has confronted every Premier League manager: How do you stop the seemingly unstoppable?

Manchester City are unbeaten in 33 games over almost nine months against domestic opponents. They have dropped points against only two teams this season, and on one of those occasions, they played the majority of the match with 10 men. They have scored almost five times as many league goals as they have conceded and could be crowned champions in March.

English football's most unsolvable...

 By Michael Cox

Premier League defending isn't worse, as Ferdinand says: it's just evolving

ESPN's Mark Ogden believes Virgil van Dijk can have the same impact on Liverpool that Rio Ferdinand had for Manchester United.

It's hardly surprising to discover a former professional footballer suggesting that standards have slipped since his day, but there was plenty of truth in Rio Ferdinand's recent suggestion that centre-backs are no longer as defensively solid. It's a common refrain from both former defenders and former attackers: ex-defenders complain that skills simply aren't valued any more, while former forwards boast that they would score a colossal amount of goals in the modern era with such poor defending....

 By Michael Cox

If Swansea avoid relegation it'll be due to new players, not new manager

With Swansea manager Paul Clement being sacked, the FC crew debate if Tony Pulis would be a reasonable replacement.

Swansea City's decision to dismiss Paul Clement felt entirely inevitable simply because sacking the manager has become the go-to solution when a club is struggling, regardless of whether he's actually done anything wrong. Yet they're in a relatively unusual situation because they have a fine defensive record and a very poor attacking record. In this situation, a quick fix is considerably more difficult than when a new manager inherits a leaky defence but a decent attack.

So far, 2017-18 has...

 By Michael Cox

Criticising Liverpool for rotation is silly as it arguably makes them great

There are certain footballing topics that appear to become a major issue every few years and considering the nature of the word, "rotation" seems a perfect example.

It's currently a hot topic in the aftermath of Jurgen Klopp's decision to rotate his side for the recent 1-1 draw against Everton. Liverpool stumbled in typical fashion, outplaying the opposition before one defensive error cost them two points. Yet Klopp's team selection, rather than Liverpool profligacy or defensive errors, was held...