Vincent Kompany believes City can win at Anfield
Sergio Aguero’s return a huge boost ahead of massive tie at Liverpool
Vincent Kompany (right) and Javi Garcia celebrate after beating Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford last month. City have also won at Tottenham and Bayern Munich this season. Photograph: EPA.
Vincent Kompany has pointed to Manchester City’s victories at Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Tottenham as evidence that Liverpool can be beaten at Anfield in tomorrow’s potential title decider.
City will be boosted by having Sergio Aguero, who has scored 26 times in all competitions this season, fit following a hamstring injury that has ruled him out since March 12th.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team travel to Merseyside four points behind the leaders but with two games in hand in a match viewed as pivotal in deciding the destiny of the title.
While City beat Brendan Rodgers’s side on St Stephen’s Day at the Etihad Stadium, Kompany rates them the hardest opposition they have faced at home in the league.
Yet the captain said: “We’ve been to Old Trafford, White Hart Lane and the Allianz Arena and come away with victories this season and our form on the road is as good as anyone. We know that if the players, supporters and staff around our club stand together, we are capable of anything. We are playing a very good team and we know how hard this is going to be, but we will go to Anfield in confident mood.
“They have scored a lot of goals – as have we – but we’ve only conceded two goals in our last seven Premier League games so we’ve been defending well, too, and that will be just as important as our strikers finding the net. It’s a game between two teams with slightly different styles but the same philosophy and I think it will be a very entertaining game because both teams try to score goals.
Much at stake
“We remember the match against them earlier in the season and, for me, Liverpool are still the best Premier League team we’ve faced at the Etihad. They have been on a fantastic run and we know we have to be focused and leave the pitch at the end knowing we’ve given everything because there is so much at stake in this game. But then again, this is a great challenge for us. They have a great squad and while we will be wary of that, I think we have quite a few great players of our own.”
Despite the high stakes of the game, Pellegrini is thriving on the pressure of the run-in. Chelsea, who are two points better off than City having played two matches more, are also challenging.
The Chilean said: “Liverpool are favourites [to win the title] because they are top of the table but I don’t like to take the pressure out of my team. All big teams know they must play with pressure. I don’t try to take advantage and say we don’t have any pressure because we play away or they are the best team, they are top of the table.”
Pellegrini is clear his squad are also enjoying the pressure. “Of course – if not they cannot be important players for the national squad or for big teams.”
The manager said of Aguero: “Sergio is okay. He worked the whole week with the squad normally. He doesn’t have any problems. He is very important. We know Sergio is a top player, he is a player that it is very difficult for the other defences to stop him so he is very important for us.”
Pellegrini added: “You always miss important players like Sergio Aguero but I think we had a lot of other players injured during the year and the squad had a good answer to that so we have a squad prepared to depend not just on one player.”