Football

De Bruyne: We don’t care about poor Anfield record

De Bruyne unfazed by City's struggles in Liverpool but pundits lean towards Reds

LIVERPOOL MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City may be the form team in Europe this season, but their record at Anfield offers Liverpool hope that they can be the first team to beat the Citizens in the English Premier League on Sunday.

City have not won in the Red half of Merseyside in the league for almost 15 years.

They have lost 14 out of 20 league matches at Anfield in the Premier League era, winning just once - in 2003.

The losses include a 6-0 mauling in 1995 and their overall record read 40 goals conceded to just 17 scored.

Not that any of this bothers City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.

Asked about his team's poor record at Anfield, the 26-year-old Belgian said: "We don't care about that. It is just the way football goes.

"We go there to win the game...

"We just try to do the things we do good and then we will see what happens."

What happened when the teams last met was Liverpool's biggest defeat this season, as City ran out 5-0 winners at the Etihad last September.

However, English football pundits believe that things could pan out differently on Sunday.

City have the EPL's best attack, having scored 64 goals in 22 games, but Ian Wright believes Liverpool's attack - the second-most prolific in the league with 50 goals scored - is just as good, even without the now departed Philippe Coutinho.

The former Arsenal and England striker told Sky Sports: "As good as City are, as a four going forward Liverpool are one of the best.

"I think that they can cope with that (losing Coutinho to Barcelona)...

"I don't think they would have sold him if they didn't feel they could cope with it...

"The emergence of (Mohamed) Salah, that signing's been amazing. I think (Sadio) Mane can get better as well.

"And then you've got (Roberto) Firmino, you've got (Adam) Lallana as well, who's just coming back to form."

England midfielder Lallana, 29, has started just two matches this term after spending most of the campaign on the sidelines due to a thigh injury.

Teammate Joe Gomez believes he has been missed, telling the club's website: "He brings so much. He is one of the best players in the Premier League in his position...

"I don't think many people have got his natural ability with his right and left foot and the way he manipulates the ball.

"Everyone knows how infectious (his pressing) is. That's something we have missed."

The Reds' high-pressing game is what former West Ham United and Fulham defender Tony Gale believes could end City's unbeaten EPL run.

He told Sky Sports: "(Liverpool) will press Man City like they have never been pressed.

"There have been signs that City, particularly the centre backs - not so much John Stones but (Nicolas) Otamendi or (Eliaquim) Mangala - you can press certain players and nick the ball off them. That will be Liverpool's ploy."

Former Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer, too, believes City's centre backs could be their soft spot, telling the club's website: "We know Manchester City's quality... on their day, Liverpool can match anybody...

"If you can get in between the lines and at the two (City) centre halves, which I feel we can, then there are chances and goals there."

Football