Higginbotham: Man City’s squad depth gives them an edge over Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City celebrates with team mates after he scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Manchester City at Goodison Park on February 06, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Former defender Danny Higginbotham believes Liverpool are at a disadvantage compared to Manchester City due to their squad depth.

Pep Guardiola’s side reclaimed top spot in the Premier League for the first time since December after defeating Everton 2-0 on Wednesday.

While Liverpool can retake first-place for themselves on Saturday against Bournemouth, Higginbotham feels they are lacking one key disadvantage compared to City.

“If you look at yesterday evening’s game, the second goal in particular, two substitutes combined,” The ex-Manchester United player told Sky Sports.

“The three players that came on, (Gabriel) Jesus, (Kevin) De Bruyne, (Raheem) Sterling – that is incredible strength in depth.

“I think if you look at Manchester City, the only place where you’d really look and think to yourself, ‘if you got an injury in this area you could be in big trouble’, is Fernandinho. So it’s definitely advantage them.”

Liverpool have only won two of their last five league games following consecutive 1-1 draws against Leicester City and West Ham United.

But Higginbotham believes the Reds are struggling to cover for injuries instead of losing their cool in the club’s bid to win a first league title in 29 years.

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He added: “Everybody’s talking about the nerves getting to them, the pressure getting to them.

“I’m not buying into that at the moment. I think they’ve been unfortunate with injuries that they’ve got.

“If we look at how they’ve done this season, their defence has been absolutely incredible. The last two games that they’ve drawn they’ve taken the lead.

“More often than not in those games, you’d say they’re going to keep a clean sheet and they’re going to be able to build on that, but injuries to the likes of (Joe) Gomez, (Dejan) Lovren and (Trent) Alexander-Arnold has put a real amount of pressure on the defensive side of the games because going forward they’re not creating or not scoring as much at this point in time.”

Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus were the scorers for City at Goodison Park on Wednesday.