Etihad Stadium, 20:00 Monday
Last season’s top two go head-to-head on Sunday as 2013/14 Premier League Champions Manchester City welcome runners-up Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium. Both enjoyed winning starts to the 2014/15 campaign, City away to Newcastle United and Liverpool against Southampton at Anfield, but face challenging tests in the coming weeks. Manuel Pellegrini strengthened an already irresistible City squad during the summer months, with defender Eliaquim Mangala and defensive-midfielder Fernando the headline acquisitions, and will be eying sa econd successive title as well as a Champions League challenge in the nine months that lie ahead. The Reds, who are without a league win at City since October 2008, have been extremely busy in the market, with Brendan Rodgers strengthening both in terms of quality and quantity as he prepares his side for a long-awaited Champions League return. The impending arrival of former Citizen Mario Balotelli has not been completed in time for the Italian forward to line up for Liverpool against the club he won the 2011/12 title with, denying the football world yet another level of intrigue for this match. Supporters of each side both enjoyed and endured a hard-fought title battle last season – with 2 points being the margin of difference after thirty-eight games, an early opportunity to open up a 3 point gap after just two matches will be attractive for these two sides at opposite ends of the East Lancs Road.
Continued at: http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/15586.
Ahead of Sunday’s meeting between last season’s champions and challengers, The Redmen TV spoke with Bluemoon podcast contributors, David Mooney and Howard Hockin (http://www.standingalone.co.uk/?page_id=69)– thanks to both for providing their insights:
Manchester City and Liverpool, along with Chelsea, became involved in a hard-fought title race last season – what are your reflections on your successful 2013/14 campaign?
David: “In recent years it’s been City who have had the spotlight on them in the run-in, especially in the 2011/12 season with all the feelings of implosion around March and April time. However, last year, with Liverpool and Chelsea having been out of the title picture for a while, it was City who seemed to have less attention paid to them. I think Pellegrini dealt with the situation well – especially after losing at Liverpool and drawing with Sunderland. He could have folded, but he did everything he could to keep the pressure on elsewhere.”
Howard: “I am obviously very happy with how it turned out! Two trophies in Pellegrini’s first season is an excellent return and to win the league for the second time in three years was a wonderful feeling, especially as it didn’t look like it was going to happen after we lost at Anfield. The team broke goal-scoring records along the way and played the best football I have ever witnessed – there was little to criticise and it was good to see the players once more hold their nerve in the heat of a title race.”
Manuel Pellegrini appears to have come in and established an attractive style of football, bringing together power and flair, whilst managing without any of the bullshit of others – what are your thoughts on the Chilean?
Continued at: http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/15585.