The paint has barely dried on tonights pulsating Newcastle Utd/Liverpool game but now all eyes on the title race face the Etihad Stadium. If Liverpool are to win the league then their last hopes are Leicester taking points off City as Brighton on the last day of the season will be no threat especially now their safety has been secured. Fate has meant 2 former Liverpool managers face the title contenders and the last man to take them close to the title is at the helm of Leicester. Brendan Rodgers has done a great job since taking over from Claude Puel but if Leicester win it will be down to these components on Monday:
- Jamie Vardy – Yes this is obvious due to his incredible record scoring goals against the top 6 but his pace and directness on the break will be as key on Monday night. City need to win so its in their hands next Sunday and will of course be pressing for goals. With their backline bar Walker not the speediest Vardy could have a field day.
- Ben Chilwell – The hype about this lad a few years ago was not supported by his performances but this year has been a break out period. He is now England’s no 1 left back and his battle against Kyle Walker will be intriguing, the winner will be the man who’s team has the 3 points.
- Set Pieces – James Maddison will deliver pinpoint corners and free kicks, City will have to defend these better than they ever have! Whether its Maguire, Morgan or Evans coming up from the back the attacking of the ball will be on point.
- Peps Team Selection -City would be competing in the Champions League Semi Finals this week if it wasn’t Peps line ups in the quarters. He is without a doubt one of the great managers but he does over think matters at times. Yes their squad is great but also at times you need to pick your strongest side, then bring faces into the match. If Mahrez, Jesus, Ottomendi or Delph play Monday night the big question will be why? All of these guys are premier league standard but the holders of the shirt positions Bernado Silva, Aguero, Laporte & Mendy are elite performers. Including Monday City have 3 more games, now is not the time for Pep to be clever.
- Finally it could well be not even a player who helps to swing the title towards Liverpool but the ref on Monday.Mike Dean is in charge and their is nothing he loves more is the spotlight on him, with VAR domestically ominously close he is running out of time to make decisions all about him. Only 1 city player has been sent off all season in the league, as fans we are always told ref decisions even themselves out over the course of a season.
Whatever the outcome Monday night one thing is certain we will be watching the game with the volume down so we can avoid Jamie Carraghers biasommentary.