EXCLUSIVE: Wright-Phillips believes Man City have edge over Liverpool ahead of tasty clash

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EXCLUSIVE: Wright-Phillips believes Man City have edge over Liverpool ahead of tasty clash

Shaun Wright-Phillips spent six seasons at Manchester City across two spells
Shaun Wright-Phillips spent six seasons at Manchester City across two spellsProfimedia
"I didn't think it would be such a big game this early in the season, to be honest with you, but with Liverpool's form and obviously Manchester City being at the top of the table, the game's become even bigger. Big as it was just like a few years back where they were going head-to-head..."

Those words are coming from ex-Manchester City Player of the Season Shaun Wright-Phillips (42) whose thoughts on the huge game coming up at the Etihad Stadium our friends at Tribalfootball.com had the chance to get an insight into.

As a former player and current club ambassador, he is obviously a keen follower of the Citizens, and on their behalf, he's wary of the threat primarily one Liverpool player poses ahead of the game which re-starts the season in the Premier League.

"I think Mohamed Salah is a more complete player now than he possibly ever was when playing with Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino

He's not only scoring goals; he's getting a lot of assists and creating chances for a lot of his teammates. For me, as an attacking player, it's fantastic to see," Wright-Phillips told Tribalfootball.com on behalf of NewBettingSites.uk.

"They have been defending quite well, but not as well as they did a couple of years ago, and with Andy Robertson absent, that is a position Manchester City can exploit. But there are two great teams out there with fantastic players on both sides," says Wright-Phillips, who has witnessed a slight change in this City compared to the one which claimed the Treble last season.

"You're not going to replace people like Mahrez and Gundogan - but Kovacic, Nunes and Doku bring something a little bit different to the team.

"Doku especially lends a different dimension for City to play. He's a very tricky winger who creates a lot of problems, it's something else that we needed," says the former City winger, who's been very impressed by the young Belgian this season.

Doku heat map v Bournemouth
Doku heat map v BournemouthOpta by Stats Perform / AFP

"He's been phenomenal. In his first game, you could see he was getting to terms with the Premier League, the pace, the physicality. But after that, he's just grown in confidence.

"He's kind of 'happened' very, very quickly and when you've got the trust of the players, the coaches and your manager, there's only one direction you can really go. As long as he continues to learn and achieve his goals, he's going to be very successful in the Premier League," states Wright-Phillips, who last saw City letting no less than three leads slip against Chelsea in arguably the game of the season so far.

"I don't think Guardiola has ever conceded four goals in his managerial career. So, in that respect it was surprising, but you can't take anything away from the way Chelsea performed and played.

Premier League top five
Premier League top fiveFlashscore

"They made the game the way Chelsea wanted to play it. They didn't really let City settle but forced them into errors and on City's part, there were a few mistakes," states the man who spent three years of his career as a Chelsea player before returning to City, where these days, players like Haaland and Rodri run the show. But are City perhaps a little too dependent on those two?

"A player like Rodri is hard to replace. It's almost like a clock and you take out the main piece. The clock's not going to tick the way you want it to tick and I think there's one of those players in pretty much all the teams in the Premier League.

Rodri is a key player for Guardiola
Rodri is a key player for GuardiolaProfimedia

"With regards to Haaland, as many goals as he scores and has scored, I wouldn't say they necessarily rely on him as much with Alvarez and Doku chipping in.

"Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva has also scored a few and once Jack Grealish gets back to scoring ways, there's yet another option," says Wright-Phillips who recently saw his father, Arsenal great Ian Wright, awarded The Freedom of the City of London. A proud and emotional day for the family.

"It's a massive achievement. I think he's worked so hard, especially within the community and within women's football. He's tried to help the youth in certain areas and I think he deserves everything he gets," says an obviously proud son, who is now looking forward to the big match on Saturday.

"Although early in the season, it's a massively important game and it can set a statement for both teams."

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