Nathan Ake expects Liverpool to bounce back to their best sooner rather than later ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Anfield this weekend. Jurgen Klopp’s side have won just two of their first eight Premier League games and already find themselves 13 points behind City, with Klopp declaring their title challenge over.
Liverpool have been the only side to push City domestically in recent seasons but they have fallen away this term and look to be missing some of their usual sparkle in the early weeks of the campaign.
But Ake expects them to find top gear again at some point in the near future, despite their shaky form.
“I have always got the feeling that at one point they can just bounce back because they have a quality manager and all the players are quality. They have shown that over the years,” he said.
“I think they can deal with setbacks and I expect them to come back. Every game we want to win and Sunday is no different. Obviously, it will be a tough place to go. It is never easy to go there so we have to make sure we are in a good place.
“I think everyone is looking forward to it. We have a few days to prepare. We can do that on the training pitch and I think it will be a good game.”
Ake’s international teammate Virgil van Dijk has been struggling for form this season, like so many players, but the City defender is confident the Liverpool man will be back to his best in time for the start of the World Cup next month.
“He has been so good for so many years. For me he is still one of the best defenders in the World and he keeps showing that,” he said.
City will hope to be able to call on a fresh Erling Haaland at Anfield, with the Norwegian an unused substitute in the goalless draw with FC Copenhagen in Demark on Tuesday night.
Pep Guardiola said Haaland was exhausted after the win against Southampton last weekend and hadn’t recovered well, which is why he was treated cautiously in the Champions League, but Ake is hopeful he will be ready for action on Sunday.
“Everyone knows how important he is for the team. I am sure he will do everything to be ready for the game but we will see over the next few days,” he said.
“I think [he’s feeling] OK. Everyone wants to do well. Now everyone is a bit tired after the game but in the next few days we will see how it goes.”
Guardiola said his players were all exhausted after the draw in Copenhagen which secured qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Sergio Gomez’s red card meant City had to play an hour with 10 men but they produced a strong defensive performance to come away with a point.
“I think because [it] was a very hard match, I think a lot of players ran a lot of miles. We have a little bit of time before the next game and I am sure when we get there everyone will be ready to play,” said Ake.