Liverpool are Premier League champions thanks to Manchester City’s matchday 31 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Reds now head to the Etihad Stadium eager to continue their brilliant season and win against the team’s biggest title rival over the last two years. Manchester City will aim to win and put a damper on the Liverpool title celebrations that are sure to go on for months.
Manchester City are coming off of a weekend FA Cup quarterfinal win over Newcastle United 2-0. The Cityzens had little difficulty claiming their place in the semifinals versus Arsenal as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling sealed progression with goals.
Manager Pep Guardiola needs his top stars including Sterling and Gabriel Jesus to step up against Liverpool and lead the team to victory. Both Sterling and Jesus have been guilty of going missing in big games this season.
Liverpool managed a 3-1 home win when the teams met earlier this campaign thanks to goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. The Reds were 3-0 up before Bernardo Silva pulled a goal back 12 minutes from time. This will be the third meeting between the clubs as they kicked off the season in the FA Community Shield. The match finished 1-1 after extra-time with Manchester City eking past the Reds on penalties. Who will win the rubber match between the two clubs?
Last season match at the Etihad Stadium between Manchester City and Liverpool saw the home side leave with a 2-1 win. It was one of the turning points in the title race that race Manchester City eke past Liverpool to win the title. This season saw Liverpool come out better than ever while Manchester City were unable to match their play from the previous campaign. Defeating Liverpool on Thursday night will be a major coup for the Cityzens, however.
Jurgen Klopp’s team may have celebrated the title but the manager won’t let that stand in the way of winning at the Etihad. Interestingly, when Manchester City and Liverpool have played over the last 14 matches in all competitions, the away side has won on just three occasions. Those three occasions saw Liverpool as the victors.
Liverpool have taken 38 points from 45 possible on the road. They have dropped points in each of their last two Premier League away games winning just one point from six possible. They returned from the Covid-19 break with a nil-nil derby draw against Everton before thrashing Crystal Palace 4-0 at Anfield.
Guardiola will be concerned with player fatigue ahead of the fixture. Manchester City have four games in all competitions since the restart. The club have their eyes on the FA Cup semifinals and Champions League restart as well.
Guardiola will be without defensive stalwart Fernandinho after his straight red card sending off against Chelsea on matchday 31. The defender slapped a Tammy Abraham shot off of the line to prevent it from going in and giving the Blues a second goal.
Centre-back Eric Garcia is likely to miss the match due to a concussion. Meanwhile, striker Sergio Aguero is ruled out after having surgery. Guardiola will be dependent on Jesus to score goals but could play either Sterling or De Bruyne more centrally. De Bruyne has stayed fit this season but with so many games in a short span of time, could suffer the effects.
Liverpool will have had over a week off since beating Crystal Palace on matchday 31. Manchester City will have played two fixtures in that time period. Klopp has four players set to miss out of the fixture. Xherdan Shaqiri is ruled out with a long-term injury. After starting so well this season, he has been sidelined for much of the second half of the campaign. James Milner is also ruled out through a hamstring strain suffered against Everton.
Defender Nathaniel Clyne is still out and word emerged from Anfield last week that he will leave the club at the end of the season on a free transfer. Meanwhile, centre-back Joel Matip could make the squad after suffering a nasty knock against Everton when Richarlison stepped on his foot and ankle.
Both teams to score - BET NOW
Seven of the last 10 games between Manchester City and Liverpool in all competitions saw both teams find the back of the net. There is a lot of attacking firepower on the pitch when the clubs meet but as Manchester City showed against Chelsea, their defence is vulnerable even with Aymeric Laporte in the team.
Over 2.5 goals scored - BET NOW
The two clubs combined for four goals when they played earlier this season. Since Manchester City restarted the Premier League season, all three of their matches ended with over 2.5 goals. Liverpool’s win against Crystal Palace saw over 2.5 goals as they thrashed the Eagles. Seven of the last 10 games between Manchester City and Liverpool in all competitions saw over 2.5 goals.
Mohamed Salah to score anytime - BET NOW
Mohamed Salah found the back of the net when these teams played earlier this season and goes into matchday 32 in good form after scoring versus Crystal Palace. Salah has scored 21 times in all competitions with just three of his goals coming from the penalty spot. Like the rest of Liverpool’s players, Salah will want to top Manchester City following the title being won.
Manchester city go into the match without 20-goal scorer Aguero. They still have Sterling (18 goals), Jesus (16), and De Bruyne (11). The problem is that Guardiola’s top players don’t always step up against the top teams in the Premier League or Champions League. Sterling has never scored against Liverpool and Jesus often appears to be a flat-track bully.
Thursday night’s match should see fireworks with both teams duking it out like heavyweight boxers. It is a tough game to call and could end in a score draw between the two rivals.
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The game is being played at the Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City.
Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia are the only players unavailable for selection for the Cityzens.
Xherdan Shaqiri Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne are missing through injury.
The match will be shown on Sky Sports.
Liverpool have the upper hand over the last six matches with 3 wins compared to Man City's 2 victories during the same period.
The match gets underway at 20:15 on Thursday.2nd July.