MX23RW : Thursday, January 17 22:07:12
Apr 10, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 53,461
Man CityManchester City
1-2
Liverpool
Jesus (2')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Salah (56'), Firmino (77')

Pep Guardiola tempted to make defensive change for Liverpool match

Guardiola tempted to make defensive change
© Offside
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hints that he will break up his central-defensive duo for the meeting with Liverpool after conceding six goals in two games.

Pep Guardiola has admitted that he may alter his defensive setup for Manchester City's crucial quarter-final second-leg showdown with Liverpool in the Champions League.

City have shipped six goals in their last two matches, having also lost 3-2 to Manchester United at the weekend - the first time that has happened to a Guardiola-managed side.

The Catalan coach went with Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi for both games, but he is now tempted to bring in either John Stones or Aymeric Laporte for the return fixture with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.

"Maybe, I have an idea what we have to do tomorrow, what the guys are going to do," he said at his pre-match news conference. "But in the case of Nico, when a player does what he has done, all we can do is to be close to him because Nico is not just a huge quality but a huge mentality.

"It's true the third goal [against United] he has to defend his back, but we are here in the quarter-finals and 13 points in front in the Premier League and Nico is an important reason why."

Asked about Stones's recent omission from the starting lineup, Guardiola replied: "After he had an injury in the national team [in November] when it was six, eight weeks off and after coming back he had little problems with the confidence.

"In the last game with the national team he had a concussion and he could not play in Everton, he was seven days without a training session, and before United he felt something in his adductor.

"He was not perfect and I decided not to take a risk. He knows the confidence I have in him, especially in the last years. He has to fight with these guys to prove why he should play."

Liverpool take a comfortable lead into the second leg thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane at Anfield.


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A menacing Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Liverpool on December 22, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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