Solving Phil Foden conundrum will be key to Man City breakin


Manchester City will be looking for only their second win at Liverpool FC since 2003 - and Phil Foden could be key to doing that.

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Erling Haaland can silence any remaining doubters from his Community Shield blank against Liverpool on Sunday as Manchester City look to record a statement win at Anfield.

However, whileCityknow exactly what they will get from Haaland and how he will play, so do Liverpool. Key to Citys good form so far this season is the supporting cast behind Haaland, so getting the likes ofPhil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and co. firing will prove just as important on Sunday as anything Haaland does.

De Bruyne and Bernardo have enjoyed recent meetings withLiverpool, while Ilkay Gundogan was brilliant in their only win on the red side of Stanley Park back in 2021. Those players can all be trusted in their usual positions - so maybe the key to beating Liverpool on their own patch infront of a noisy crowd will be solving a dilemma of where to play Foden.

ALSO READ:Liverpool FC have just proven Pep Guardiola warning right before Man City visit

Usually, City would play Foden on the left, with Riyad Mahrez or maybe Bernardo on the right, while Jack Grealish is now an option for these big games. Foden has a good record against Liverpool - three goals and two assists in seven appearances - with his brilliant goal at Anfield last season showing why hes so dangerous off the left-wing.

His stand-out performance in last seasons away game saw him force stand-in right-back James Milner into an early substitution, before Joe Gomez replaced him in Trent Alexander-Arnolds absence. With Gomez likely to be right-back on Sunday, Foden would be confident of winning that duel.

And in Citys 2021 win at Anfield, behind closed doors, it was Foden who scored and assisted, operating as a false nine but often drifting left as Gundogan exploited the space left behind through the middle.

Yet Fodens most impressive form this season has come from the right - a position he only played once in last season on the opening day. A flourishing relationship with Kevin De Bruyne has resulted in plenty of goals provided for Haaland from that right side, and of Fodens seven goals this season, five have come while playing as a right-winger. Hes also averaging a goal or assist every 80 minutes so far this campaign.

On form, Foden playing off the right could be Citys best way to involve Haaland, and continue that link-up with De Bruyne. But Pep Guardiola will be aware of Fodens historical performances on the left at Anfield, where City have taken four points from their last two visits.

And with no obvious right-winger in form, the decision becomes harder still. Mahrez has started the last three games, but Guardiola still isnt happy with his fitness, and he was sacrificed early in Copenhagen after hed missed a penalty and City went down to ten men. Grealish has looked good this season but mostly off the left, while Bernardo could add more energy from that side even if hes slightly less effective out wide.

It seems that Foden plays better against Liverpool on the left-wing, especially at Anfield, but fits better in the current City side on the right.

Wherever he plays, its a decision that will dictate Citys shape and tactics against Jurgen Klopps makeshift defence. If Guardiola can get it right, it could be the key to a long-awaited win at Anfield with no behind-closed-doors excuses for Liverpool to fall back on.

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