The newly-crowned champions of England Liverpool travel to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City in what promises to be an exciting clash in the Premier League on Thursday (Friday morning in India). The contest can be seen live.
Up against a team that edged them out on the last day of the season a year ago, the Reds are set to experience the graciousness of the former champions with the Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola assuring that the new champions will be accorded a ‘Guard of Honour’ ahead of their tie.
But though they might have secured the crown following Manchester City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea last week, Jürgen Klopp’s men are sure not to slow down especially with the German warning that he was in no mood to let his foot off the pedal yet.
Where do they stand in the Premier League table?
While Liverpool have sealed their first Premier League crown - a 19th league title - Manchester City will be keen to consolidate their second position with a quality show.
They stay behind the Reds with 63 points for 31 games, eight points ahead of the third-placed Leicester City.
Likely starting line-ups
Ederson; Kyle Walker, Nicolás Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy; Kevin de Bruyne, Rodri, Phil Foden; Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling
Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.
Injury updates and team news
The Cityzens will once again be without their prolific striker Sergio Aguero who had to go under the knife after he aggravated his knee injury during their emphatic 5-0 win over Burnley on June 23.
Also missing the Liverpool clash will be Brazilian Fernandinho who continues to serve his ban after receiving a straight red card during the Chelsea tie.
The Merseysiders too have their injury list to deal with which include prominent names like Joel Matip - missing the remainder of the season to a foot injury - while the experienced James Milner will hope to clear a late fitness test following his thigh injury.
Manchester City vs Liverpool head-to-head
Surprisingly for an all-conquering Manchester City side, Liverpool have often been a bogey side over the past few seasons.
The Manchester-based side has managed only three wins over the Reds in the past 10 games, with their losses extending to the UEFA Champions League encounters too.
But Pep Guardiola will surely take heart from the fact that his opponent’s for Thursday have not registered a win at the Etihad stadium since Jürgen Klopp's first visit in 2015 when they recorded a 4-1 victory on the night.
Manchester City, however, were dealt a 1-3 defeat when they travelled to Anfield early this season with goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane sealing their fate while Bernardo Silva pulled one back for the visitors on the day.
Players to watch out for
Undoubtedly one of the finest midfielders in the world, Belgium’s Kevin de Bruyne has been in hot form ever since Premier League’s restart.
The 29-year-old came up with an inch-perfect free-kick against Chelsea in the previous game week and has often been Manchester City’s creator-in-chief.
The Belgian also has the ability to negate the constant high press that Liverpool have mastered over the past few seasons, something that Pep Guardiola will bank upon going into the tie.
He might not be as prolific as his team-mates, but the 26-year-old Fabinho has often shown what he’s capable of when called upon by Jürgen Klopp.
The holding midfielder has a no-nonsense mentality that has seen him flourish in breaking down the opponent’s attacks without much fuss, while also adding to the attacking threat that Liverpool possesses.
While his piledriver against Manchester City is still afresh in many minds, rest be assured that the Brazilian will not hesitate in attempting something similar especially after coming up with another special strike against Crystal Palace in their previous league meeting.
What they said
"In sport, you have to prove every time. We are incredibly satisfied with what we are done and doing but athletes it is never enough. The past is the past, we have entered our memories but the show must go on. A new chapter in our lives, we have to live it. The memories are nice but people who say I don’t have to show anything I don’t completely agree, every time you have to do it.”
"We must never stop wanting it. We will stay humble and greedy and that makes us an uncomfortable opponent. As long as we stay clear. Life is constantly a challenge and ours is now being a champion against teams fighting for everything. Next season we won't defend, we attack.”
Where to watch Manchester City vs Liverpool live
Kick-off time for the Manchester City vs Liverpool tie is 12:45 am on Friday, July 3 in India.
The match will be broadcast live and exclusively on the following TV channels: Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD.
Indian football fans can also watch the live streaming of Manchester City vs Liverpool on Disney+ Hotstar platform.