Manchester City vs Liverpool
The newly crowned Premier League champions head to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday to meet the team they have just dethroned, and Liverpool could be on the end of an ambush.
Had Pep Guardiola’s side kept pace with the leaders then this fixture could have been the big match of the season. But instead, it has turned into a celebration of Jurgen Klopp’s team’s outstanding league triumph.
And that will hurt last year’s champions who will form a guard of honour for the Reds before the game begins.
But the minute they cross the white line the hospitality will end. The pre-season SBOBET odds pitched Manchester City as the title favourites but by Christmas, Liverpool were pretty much out of sight.
In some ways with City’s defeat at Chelsea last week — which handed Liverpool the title — it makes this game more of an exhibition, though the Sky Blues will be keen to prove they can beat the Reds while the visitors will be equally determined to keep their hosts in their place.
Klopp says Reds are ready to go again
Any talk of the Liverpool coach having achieved everything he can at Anfield has been quickly dismissed by Jurgen Klopp, who insists he is already thinking about next season.
He’s won the Champions League and now the Premier League with the Reds, but Klopp wants to take them on another journey to even greater heights.
And he’s happy that his squad — which has taken him four years to build — is ready for another successful campaign.
Klopp admits there isn’t a bottomless pit of money at Anfield and the impact of COVID-19 is likely to have a subduing effect on transfer activity. But he also believes spending heavily on reinforcements wouldn’t necessarily be the right thing to do.
“It’s not a squad you have to change now and say, ‘OK, we need this position and this position.’ We don’t have a first 11, I say we have a first 16 or 17, they can all play to the same level. But we have to use this, 100-per cent,” said Klopp.
Liverpool have already missed out on Red Bull Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who is on his way to Chelsea and Klopp will certainly not step back from the market entirely.
City’s focus will be laser sharp when the Reds arrive in Manchester
Pep Guardiola has hinted that the Sky Blues may have been struggling to concentrate in the Premier League, with higher priorities in the FA Cup and Champions League.
The defeat to Chelsea was followed by a thoroughly impressive Cup win over Newcastle United. But the Sky Blues have also shown ruthless form in the league, dismantling Arsenal and then Burnley with some ease.
His players have just lost the title in devastating fashion, and they will be keen to prove the 23-point gap between the two sides is not an accurate reflection of their relative abilities.
The Reds recently drew a blank in the Merseyside Derby and could easily have lost, so the Sky Blues will hope they can make the champions stutter again in a big game.
Foden is Sky Blues future
20-year-old Phil Foden has been making the headlines in Manchester over the past week having put in brilliant performances in the Sky Blues’ victories over Burnley and Newcastle United.
After scoring a double against the Clarets, he came off the bench to set up Raheem Sterling for the vital second goal against the Magpies which propelled the Sky Blues into the FA Cup semi-final.
Former City defender Joleon Lescott has said Foden’s obsession with football could lead him to become the most decorated player in English football.
“I did some work with the England under 21s and I had to ban footballs from the hotel because he was constantly with one at his feet! His obsession with football is not like I’ve seen before,” said Lescott.
His own ambition could take Foden to the top of the world, but he has had some of the best in the business to learn from including the departing David Silva and the Belgian ace Kevin de Bruyne – who has made 18 assists already this season.
Liverpool have had the better of the Premier League head-to-heads, winning 26 victories to Manchester City’s 11. And back in November, a 3-1 win for the Reds was a heavy blow in the league race.
Since then, Klopp’s side has been totally dominant – winning the title with seven games to spare with 28 victories from 31 games.
Recent form is in City’s favour though, as the Sky Blues have won four from the last six games while Liverpool have won two from six in all competitions.
|Manchester City vs Liverpool||1X2 Manchester City @ 2.12|
|July 3, 03:15 (GMT+8)|
The latest Manchester City vs Liverpool betting odds have Pep’s team as favourites, with the draw at 3.35 and Liverpool at 3.20.
I expect the Sky Blues to make a point on Thursday. They will be hurting and will back themselves to deliver a timely reminder to Liverpool.
Of course, we’ll be back again on Thursday night with the Manchester City vs Liverpool news updates as they happen.
But there’s more great football to come in the meantime, starting with Brighton vs Manchester United tonight, and West Ham vs Chelsea on Wednesday.
The big games just keep on coming and we’re loving it!
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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