Man City can face Liverpool FC FOUR times in 12 days: Disconnection, vomiting and nuclear bunkers – Alex Brotherton
A lead reduced to six points after playing one more game. Very nervous ?
It turns out that the reports about football’s death were greatly exaggerated. Manchester City and Liverpool are definitely in a title race.
City’s collapse against Tottenham followed a win from behind against Norwich City for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Already, a degree of attention is turning to what could indeed be a win-win Premier League showdown at the Etihad Stadium on April 9. But that might just be the tip of the iceberg.
City and Liverpool are both on course for the Champions League quarter-finals and could draw each other. The two legs of these meetings would take place on April 5 and 6 and April 12 and 13.
An absolute nightmare scenario to eat nothing that week, right? Well, there’s more.
Admittedly, a few more pieces need to fall into place for this one to materialize, but the Premier League top two will be confident of passing FA Cup fifth round ties against Peterborough United and Norwich respectively.
Avoid each other in the quarter-finals and City and Liverpool meet for a semi-final showdown at Wembley on April 16.
When you start figuring out how much is reasonable to spend on your own nuclear bunker, the The city is our gave their thoughts on what such an unprecedented series of encounters would mean for the two best teams of this era.
Alex Brotherton: Torture for fans
You thought the 2018/19 Premier League title race was bad, right?
City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in January 2019 – which sparked City’s leap from their league-top rivals – was one of City’s most stressful games of recent times.
Well, imagine that, but four times in the space of 12 days. It would be like the football version of Adam Sandler’s hit movie Uncut Gemsonly the children are crying, the car is broken down, your friends take the mickey and your enjoyment of the following summer depends on the result of 22 men kicking a ball around a rectangle of grass for 360 minutes.
Quite frankly, City facing Liverpool in three different competitions in the space of 12 days would be fantastic for neutrals but torture for fans. I think City are just as brilliant as the rest, but there’s something about Liverpool that makes me nervous.
We’ve been burned too many times before by their high-octane style in matches far too chaotic for someone who’s gotten used to calm, controlled pep-ball.
If this list of luminaries were to be, it could be a fortnight that would be talked about for decades, but I’ll probably watch the majority of them with my hands firmly clasped over my eyes.
Dominic Farrell: Drawing positives
When City were 2-1 down to Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the 2011/12 season, I sat down on the floor and started calculating how long it would be possible to retire from polite society.
I mainly worked from home in a downtown apartment. It would be easy to go to the shops late and order some takeout. I could disconnect from Facebook for a few months until this ultimate humiliation passed.
Luckily Sergio Aguero spared me that twisted Howard Hughes existence, but heading into the woods and burying your phone would seem like a sensible course of action for four Liverpool games in 12 days.
Alas, this job means it’s not exactly a viable option. It would be horrible to bear but, guys [in Pep voice]it might be surprising.
In the doomsday scenario described above, the Champions League quarter-final draw would be crucial.
Although the abolition of the away goals rule may have overturned this conventional wisdom, playing the second leg at home is generally seen as an advantage.
But starting this four-game run at Anfield could put City on the back foot. Alternatively, consecutive games at the Etihad Stadium, where Klopp has never beaten Guardiola in the Premier League, could leave the Blues with unstoppable momentum.
Memories of those 2018 games linger for City fans, as Liverpool handed the champions-elect their first Premier League defeat of the season in January before knocking them out of the Champions League in April.
In eight encounters since then, City have lost once to Liverpool – winning four and drawing three, with one of the last games ending in a penalty shootout victory in the 2019 Community Shield.
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In the 2-2 draw with Merseyside earlier this season, City were the better side for long stretches. Although such a schedule is physically and emotionally draining beyond belief, Guardiola has gained the upper hand in the rivalry that will define his time in England.
Pep is also in the remarkable position of having experienced something similar. His Barcelona faced Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid four times in 18 days in 2011. Those tumultuous affairs played a part in Madrid lifting the Copa del Rey and Barca exiting La Liga and the Champions League.
Guardiola would certainly resume a repeat performance. While I absolutely support his ability to guarantee this, I would also love to hear from anyone who has a remote cabin available on Orkney in early April.