- Man City are unbeaten in their last 5 home games v Liverpool
- City won 17, drew 1 and lost 1 of their 10 PL home games last year
- Liverpool haven’t lost a PL away match in 2014, (W7, D2)
On Monday Manchester City and Liverpool square off at the Etihad Stadium (Watch live on NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra) as last seasons’ top two met early on in 2014-15.
Both teams won their opening Premier League matches of the new season and will be hoping to set down an early marker for their title credentials under the floodlights in Manchester on Monday. Liverpool will be the slight underdogs but with both teams eager to attack and combining to score 203 goals last season, expect a goal fest.
Brendan Rodgers’ men looked a little disjointed in their season opening vs. Southampton last weekend and will undoubtedly miss Luis Suarez after he bagged 31 goals last year. As for Man City, they haven’t made too many changes to their title winning squad and put in a thoroughly professional display against Newcastle last time out.
In team news, Manchester City could continue with Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko up front as Sergio Aguero isn’t fit to start, while new signing Eliaquim Mangala isn’t fit after his arrival from FC Porto. Liverpool may hand debuts to new boys Alberto Moreno and Lazar Markovic, but Adam Lallana is still out on the sidelines.
What they’re saying
Liverpool boss Rodgers on Man City’s success: “They’ve been fantastic in the league for two out of the last three years. They pipped us last year but we had two fantastic games against them. It’s going to be a tough game they’ve done really well, they’ve got lots of wonderful, experienced players in their ranks. They’ve been put together to win and that’s what they’ve been doing. Manuel has done a great job coming in last season and managing that group.”
Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini on City’s squad: “We have strengthened our squad a little over the summer and I am happy with it. I did not go looking for a striker because we already have four at the club. Other clubs have strengthened too. They want to improve, which is what you would expect, but we want to improve too. We believe we can still get better.”
This game should be open and have plenty of goals in it. Both teams prefer to attack and the last time they met Liverpool prevailed 3-2 at Anfield towards the end of last season as they looked to have all but wrapped up the PL title. Man City came roaring back and the Reds stumbled to hand the Citizens the crown. If City get off to a flier in their opening home match of the season, this could get ugly for Liverpool. I am going for a home win, 3-1 to City.
Multiple reports claim Crystal Palace has offered its managerial position to Dutch boss Frank De Boer.
Palace has been without a manager since Sam Allardyce retired after the season. The Eagles finished 15th in the Premier League, five points behind eighth place Southampton and seven points clear of the drop zone.
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An accomplished defender at Ajax and Barcelona, the 47-year-old De Boer led Ajax in his first managerial stint before spending less than three months at Inter Milan last season.
De Boer twice won the Rinus Michels Award as the top manager in Dutch football, and would become just the second Palace manager from outside the British Isles.
He would inherit a very good group of attackers with Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke, and Andros Townsend. Palace also has a talented midfielders Luka Milivojevic and Yohan Cabaye to go with marauding Dutch back Patrick Van Aanholt.
Mexico should be counting their Confederations Cup blessings in congested Group A after a prolonged shoving match at the end of its 2-1 win over New Zealand on Thursday somehow ended with a single red card.
New Zealand is fortunate, too, but the All-Whites have already seen their hopes of the knockout round extinguished by a pair of losses in Russia.
With New Zealand counterattacking in hopes of a late equalizer, Mexico’s Diego Reyes pulled back charging Niko Boxall. It was the second pull back in minutes after Rafa Marquez went uncarded at the other end, and Boxall reacted poorly by lunging cleat-first into Hector Herrera’s calf.
Referee Bakary Gassama should’ve easily pulled two red cards there, but lost his focus in an ensuing melee that saw Herrera charge back to knock down Boxall, headbutts between Diego Reyes and Andrew Durante, and an absurd hand-throwing performance from Javier Aquino. Perhaps this lapse was understandable, which is why he had Video Assistant Referee available.
Even video couldn’t get it right, as a long and sloppy review was seemingly bungled by the referees saw a trio of yellow cards given to Boxall, Reyes, and Herrera.
All three should’ve been sent off, and otherwise Man of the Match contender Aquino and his teammate Marco Fabian should not have escaped discipline by any stretch of the imagination. If Gassama needed it to be level, Michael McGlinchey, Ryan Thomas and Durante could’ve left the match as well.
Instead, a terrific match has been left in the lurch. Will FIFA have the guts to issue supplemental discipline ahead of the important final matches of the group stage?
Oscar‘s antics aren’t missed in the Premier League, and they won’t be missed over the next two months in China.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has been banned for eight matches after igniting a brawl between Shanghai SIPG and Guangzhou (video here) by lashing a pair of shots at defenders and then hitting the ground in comical fashion.
[ MORE: Latest on Ronaldo ]
It’s amazing Oscar lived through the vicious shove (at least this dive didn’t influence a UEFA Champions League match).
While his antics won’t be missed, his playmaking will; It comes as no surprise that Oscar has thrived in the nascent Chinese Super League, posting nine assists and a goal in 13 league matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo will meet with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez at the conclusion of the Confederations Cup, according to reports, at which point a pair of cut-and-dried options could be on the table.
Paris, or the status quo.
Marca reports that Ronaldo will bring a “money no object” offer from Paris Saint-Germain into the meeting, although the same outlet says Perez will know exactly what’s coming due to an understanding between the two big money clubs.
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The 32-year-old Ronaldo remains in fine form at the Confederations Cup, with Portugal’s unbeaten run continuing in Russia. If Portugal is upset by New Zealand in its group stage finale on June 24, it would still stand a good chance of proceeding to the knockout rounds depending on the Mexico-Russia result.
That means the Perez-Ronaldo meeting wouldn’t occur until after July 2, which is when the Final and third-place playoff are scheduled in Russia.
In the meantime, Real manager Zinedine Zidane is said to be cutting his vacation short to meet with Perez regarding not just Ronaldo’s future but the club’s pursuit of Kylian Mbappe (which is a bit over-dramatic given the above news. Feels like a phone call could get the job done).