Inside the Opposition: Liverpool

City’s start to this season is far from easy. After our opening-day trip to Newcastle, we welcome Liverpool on Monday, before playing Stoke (h), Arsenal (a) and Chelsea (h). Good job David Moyes isn’t charge, we’d never hear the end of it. And he’s shit.
Anyway, this week I spoke to Liverpool fan Ryan McTrippy. Ryan writes for Anfield Index and is on Twitter. Here’s what he had to say about Monday’s game.
What have you made of Liverpool’s summer transfer window? Are you better equipped to win the league now?
Overall I’m pretty happy with the business we’ve done so for. Of course, we’ve overpaid massively for Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, but I think Lallana is a really good player for our squad and what we need whether it’s off the bench or starting. Lazar Markovic is a really exciting prospect, Emre Can is also a fantastic coup; add in the Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo and I think we’ve assembled an incredibly promising, young group of talented footballers.
How much of a loss is Luis Suarez?
Massive, it really is. While I do think the media have over blown it in some ways, it’s hard to underestimate the influence he had on our team. I still expect us to be in the top four this season because our team is a little underrated, but time will tell what way we go beyond that.
Suarez Liverpool
How do you assess the job Rodgers has done as Liverpool manager? I have to say, I’ve been very impressed.
I’ve backed Rodgers since day one. The second I heard his first interview I was sold. He’s had it really hard winning over supporters, and most other fans and media outlets just don’t think he’s all that but I really can’t see anything other than special things under him. His enthusiasm and ability are so vital to us, and while he’s far from perfect, he’s still so young and growing as a coach. 

Raheem Sterling…a potentially world-class player?
Most definitely. More than simply a winger, his ability with a football is incredibly underrated. His speed is one of his key attributes, but he’s incredibly strong and confident on the ball. I’m expecting a big year of Raheem, and I think the Premier League will see what this kid’s all about.
Why do Liverpool fans rate Rafa Benitez so much more highly than most other people?
To be very honest, I’m not sure. Rafa is obviously a big part of our modern culture as he’s the one who brought back the Champions League title in 2005, and almost the league in 2008/09. But he’s not what he was. I’m embarrassed that some fans (quite a large number) wanted his Chelsea team to beat us or at least take a point when they played us at Anfield, simply because they were so against Rodgers. That, to me, is grade A bellendry, and it was because of that I’ve gone off him somewhat. But the man has been really good to our club, and the city (far as I’m aware his family are located there, still) and done a lot for our Hillsborough campaign but he’s a part of our past now.
Gerrard Carragher CL
Who will win the title?
Gut feeling? Chelsea.
Are you impressed with City’s squad for this season?
Yes, very. While some key components are ageing, most are only entering their prime. I’ll be looking at Yaya Toure again this year as I think last season may have been his peak, but if he continues to play as he did it’ll be frightening. Kompany and David Silva are far from finished though, and with Pellegrini it’s hard to expect anything but a title challenge and developments in Europe.
Which City player would you most like to sign?
My gut instinct would say Kompany as he could partner Sakho tremendously, but if I could truly cherry pick any… It’d be the new man, Fernando. He’s exactly what we need, and we were close to him in January if rumours are to be believed but his skill set would take us to the next level. While Gerrard is still quality on the ball, I can’t help but feel off it he’s a huge liability. Many fans will disagree though, and hate me for saying it!
Combined City-Liverpool XI?
Mignolet (not a big Hart fan), Zabaleta, Kompany, Sakho, Moreno (if he develops), Fernando, Yaya, Henderson, Silva, Aguero, Sturridge. 4-4-2 diamond.
Score prediction?
Agh… I’ll go a 2-2. 

Interview by Rob Pollard

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