Manchester City face another stern test this weekend with a trip to Anfield to face Liverpool after two tough fixtures against Chelsea in the Premier League followed by a disappointing Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain.
After securing all three points in a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, Pep Guardiola’s side fell to a Lionel Messi-inspired 2-0 defeat against PSG in midweek, with a trip to Liverpool now on the horizon.
One of City’s standout players this season has been Gabriel Jesus, who scored his second Premier League goal of the campaign in the win against Chelsea, taking his overall goal tally for 2021/22 up to three across all competitions, chipping in with three assists as well. Furthermore, the Brazil striker was recently voted as the club’s Etihad Player of the Month for his performances throughout August.
For the midweek game against PSG, though, he found himself replaced by Raheem Sterling in the starting XI, and the England winger was unable to get on the scoresheet in France.
Since arriving in Manchester back in January 2017 from Brazilian club Palmeiras for a fee of £28.8m, the 24-year-old has played predominantly as a centre-forward but also on the left and right flanks on occasion.
This season has seen Jesus, who has been described as a “versatile” player by former Brazil star Rivaldo, mainly play as a right winger in the Premier League, which is where he has scored most of his goals and provided his assists.
In our view, there should be no question over whether or not Jesus should be in the starting XI to face Liverpool, against whom he scored in the 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium and provided an assist against in the 4-1 win on Merseyside last season.
However, Riyad Mahrez played in the right-wing position in the game against PSG and earned himself an overall match rating of 8.1/10 for his display, making him the highest-rated City player on the day according to SofaScore. That could well give Guardiola a tough decision to make over who he chooses to start at Anfield on Sunday.
If Jesus does start against Liverpool and scores or sets up a goal, particularly if it tips the result in his team’s favour, then he should definitely be viewed as the club’s first-choice right-winger moving forward throughout the campaign.