No matter what now, Liverpool cannot say they’re guilty of falling short based on psychological weakness.
That inevitability of them falling short due to their own history can no longer be used as something to bate them with. They have done all they can.
Apart from being ten points clear and actually bottling it, they definitely haven’t bottled it. Not. One. Bit.
However, as football tends to be ironic by nature, Liverpool need to rely on a man who absolutely bottled it five years ago when they really should have tasted league success.
But, you know what – and take a deep breath – it’s going to happen. Liverpool fans, here’s five reasons you can believe in Leicester City getting something off Man City on Monday night.
His delusion is always a fun talking point and has wielded more Twitter accounts than it ever should have, but it might suit here.
Rodgers knows how to play City, evidently, and his false sense of confidence should see Leicester actually aim to counter rather than just sit in.
Once you’re a Liverpool manager, it stays with you. Winning one game with Liverpool is probably worth more to someone than it is to win multiple with most other clubs and you can be sure he will genuinely try to help them win a league title.
People seem to forget one key element of why so many teams struggle against City and that’s because they haven’t got a genuine goal threat. Kompany and Co can’t step up to the halfway line this time and connect play up from the back.
Vardy is immense on the counter and teams need to be aware of where he is on the pitch at all times. In many ways, this game sets up beautifully for him and his presence alone means City can’t operate as they normally do.
Even if you consider the top teams City play against – Chelsea, Man United, Spurs. None of them have pace in behind from a central area. Who do? Liverpool, when they play narrow channels with Mane and Salah.
The blueprint is there and Leicester are well able for it.
This Leicester side have already beaten City this season. People seem to forget that. Most teams are beaten on the pitch already before they even eye up the likes of Aguero and the Silvas. But, this XI know they can beat Pep’s boys and they’ll play in that vein.
Being away from home also takes the pressure off Leicester completely and the Etihad is hardly an intimidating place to go.
If City aren’t ahead by half-time, the crowd will get on their backs and that will only spur Leicester on even further.
Honestly, this game is somewhat of a perfect storm for The Foxes, and they’re the type of team City would much rather not be playing with everything on the line.
Onyinye Ndidi and Youri Tielemans
It’s only a matter of time before a top-four club picks Onyinye Ndidi up. He’s 22 years of age and probably worth £50m.
Granted he’s had more bookings than the band your Da got your Ma for her 50th, but only Kante breaks up play better than he does in the league.
You combine that with one of the (loan) signings of the season in Youri Tielemans and you start to see that they won’t just surrender possession like most teams do. There’s enough guile in that midfield to break Man City’s high press.
This Leicester team is closer to the squad that won the league than it is to last year’s team, even if league positions don’t suggest that.
We’re understating Leicester’s quality.
Pep in Big Moments
His entire career was based on Lionel Messi.
He took a Bayern Munich team and made them less efficient than they were under Heynckes, but nobody ever mentions that.
Mentally, he can an adjustment too many and shoot himself in the foot.
See every Champions League campaign since he left the Camp Nou. He doesn’t cope with pressure well, and he’s lucky to have been in uncontested leads for so long in his career.
He’s about to play Fabien Delph as a false nine and there’s nothing you can do about it.