Liverpool v Man City

Dalglish: City not unbeatable

November 27, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has said Manchester City have not felt the absence of striker Carlos Tevez and are a stronger unit ahead of Sunday's Premier League meeting at Anfield.

Kenny Dalglish
PA PhotosKenny Dalglish: Concerned about fatigue affecting players

However, Dalglish insists City, who have only failed to win once in the Premier League this season when drawing 2-2 at Fulham, are not unbeatable.

Tevez was suspended and fined by City after refusing to warm up in the club's Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich, and now he is back home in Argentina without permission. Even though Tevez shared the golden boot with Dimitar Berbatov last term Dalglish believes he has been no loss to Robeto Mancini due to their ability to replace players with their huge financial resources.

Dalglish said in the Sunday Mirror: "City have got a lot more points than they had at the same stage last season. The fact that they are top of the league means they must be better now than they were then. I remember when we beat them last season at Anfield when they lost Tevez to an injury after about 20 minutes.

"Tevez was a big miss for them that night, but they didn't have Aguero to replace him. Losing Tevez is a blow, but Aguero has come in and done well so they have just replaced one with the other.

"They have brought someone else in and they will keep doing that if they feel that's what needs to be done. They didn't have the same strength last season as they've got this year.

"They are top of the league. That tells you mathematically they are the best team in the league, but it doesn't tell you they can't be beaten.

"I think the number of points they have got, the start they have had, tells you that they are for real. But at the start of the season they were one of the teams mentioned anyway.

"It's not a surprise they are up there but it might be a surprise that they have got a few points gap. Eleven wins out of 12 isn't a bad start is it? There will not be too many teams who go past that record."

City skipper Vincent Kompany claims the famed Anfield atmosphere will be no trouble for the City players after their midweek trip to Naples in the Champions League.

He said: "Anfield is famous for its atmosphere, but I've got to say that Napoli is the noisiest stadium I have ever played in.

"Celtic Park used to be the loudest, but Napoli was really special and, after what we experienced, we should be able to cope with the Liverpool fans. The good thing, from our point of view, is that when we lost at Bayern Munich earlier in the season, we bounced back really well. That's what we must do at Liverpool. I'm not disappointed in the slightest about the performance against Napoli, just the result.

"On Tuesday, I was marking Lavezzi; on Sunday, it is Suarez. A few weeks ago, it was Rooney. It is a pleasure battling against the top players. This is a great time in my career because I play against them and I can measure myself."

Meanwhile, Joleon Lescott has tried to mask his side's Champions League troubles by insisting the Premier League is the priority. He said: "If we go out of the Champions League it will be a huge disappointment, but the truth is that the Premier League has always been our top priority this season.

"People might not believe that, but the aim last year was to qualify for the Champions League and win a trophy - like we did - and this time the goal is to win the title itself.

"Winning the Premier League is the ultimate achievement. Growing up as a kid it was something I dreamed about. I'm sure if you asked the other lads they would also tell you that the title is our priority.

"The Champions League is a fantastic tournament, but the real measure is how you perform in the Premier League over the course of the season.

"Winning the FA Cup was great because we all heard how it had been 35 years since City won a trophy. But the test of a team is the league. The key is to make sure that we don't get too carried away with the start we've had."