Liverpool vs Manchester City: Mo Salah is MUCH easier to defend against than Sergio Aguero, insists Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker has revealed he would rather face Mo Salah all day long than play against his worst “nightmare”, Sergio Aguero.
And, as the strike duo prepare to go head-to-head in an early season title-showdown at Anfield on Sunday, Walker believes Aguero’s deadly, seven-year scoring spree has made Manchester City the force they are.
“For me, I’d rather mark Salah — every day of the week,” said England defender Walker.
“I think Sergio has proved it now and I can assure you, having played against him when I was at Tottenham, he’s a nightmare – a complete nightmare to play against.
“You think he’s not interested in the game and all of a sudden it’s in the back of the net. He has that quality. He’s done it year in, year out. He is always up there scoring the most goals in the Premier League. He has probably carried City for a lot of years with his goals.”
City boss Pep Guardiola reckons Kop star Salah can’t be compared to Aguero yet, because he’s just been a one-season wonder.
Egyptian star Salah scored an astonishing 44 goals for Liverpool last season on the way to a fourth-place Premier League finish and the Champions League Final. But, in 10 games this campaign, he’s scored just three – half the number he had at the same stage a year ago, with Aguero already on eight goals.
In all but one of his seven years at City, Aguero has scored at least 28 goals a season, peaking at 33 in the 2016-17 campaign. And it’s because of that level of consistency that Guardiola reckons Aguero is still the goal-scoring king.
“Salah is younger, it was his first year back in England since his time at Chelsea, so we will see in the future, but a guy who has the quality to score nearly 50 goals in a season always has that quality,” said Pep.
“Football is all about ups and downs. Salah remains an excellent player and will score goals in the future. When you are in there, scenting goals, sometimes this happens. Sergio has scored a lot of goals, but there were periods when he didn’t score.
“How many years has Sergio scored all those goals, eight or nine years? For Salah, it was the first one so we will see in seven or eight years. For Sergio, his huge value comes from being consistent over many, many years. It is about being consistent every three days during 11 months.
“That is why the big, big players around Europe do that because it is the most difficult thing.”
Having whacked 10-man Liverpool 5-0 in an early-season rout a year ago, Guardiola’s stars lost the league return at Anfield 4-3 before Jurgen Klopp’s red machine won both Champions League quarter-finals ties in April.
And Walker has revealed City’s stars want to smash that bogey-team tag.
“They were our bogey team. It was plain to see. That’s gone. Now we have to go to Anfield and put that to bed,” he said.
“There’s loads of reasons why the games didn’t go our way — we had a few minutes of madness at Anfield in the quarter-final first leg when we conceded twice. That’s a learning curve.
“They’ve got world-class forwards. If they do score, OK, never mind, let’s not panic or try to rush. When we’ve got the ball, that’s when they’re at their most dangerous on the counter-attack.
“If you go to Anfield with fear, you’re already fighting a losing battle. We have to go there, quieten the crowd down, which is always going to be their 12th man, and play our football.
“We’re the champions. We have a point to prove. We tore the Premier League apart by getting the 100 points, scoring 103 goals and breaking records. We can’t rest on that now. The first thing we want is back-to-back titles – not many have done that. Hopefully, City can be the first in a number of years.”
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