Man City injury blow could prove decisive as Liverpool know importance of Major title race
Pep Guardiola has suffered a major loss in what is expected to be a four-week slump for Manchester City in their season aspirations.
Manchester City and Liverpool are challenging each other on all fronts in the final six weeks of the season, and both teams are ready to battle for domestic and European supremacy by the end of May.
The pair meet on April 10 in the Premier League and then face off in the FA Cup semi-final six days later, and Guardiola was dealt a blow with the news that centre-back Rúben Dias is likely to miss the clash. the league against Liverpool. , as he still has not recovered from his injury.
Dias suffered a hamstring injury in the FA Cup win over Peterborough and has been out for a month.
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“I don’t know, the doctor said four to six weeks and I think it’s four,” Guardiola said in his press conference ahead of their clash against Burnley. “On March 1, they had four weeks. I think he needs 10 days or two more weeks.”
It will be a blow to title rivals Liverpool, given the quality of defender Dias. The Portugal international is one of the best defenders in the Premier League and has had such an impact since joining from Benfica in the summer of 2020.
And his absence could be the difference between City winning the title or not.
Liverpool have their own injury problems, with Trent Alexander-Arnold struggling with a hamstring injury. While Alexander-Arnold is almost irreplaceable for the Reds, he will be back for the game against City on April 10 (he could even play against Watford), but the lack of Dias for City will already give Liverpool the advantage ahead of the game. match, despite Man City being at home.
Such is Dias’ importance to City that his absence from this game, of all games, could be the difference between City winning the league or not. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota will relish taking on a City defense without him.
Dias’ absence will provide Liverpool with chances, with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte not the most defensively resolute. Now it’s up to Liverpool forwards to make the most of those chances.
For all of City’s attacking genius, it could be that when we look back on this season, the lack of a defender in a crucial part of the season was what ultimately cost them the title. Surely that would be ironic.
It’s the little breaks like this that make you think this really could be Liverpool’s year to win it all – even if there’s still a very long way to go.