Manchester City – Liverpool preview: This promises to be an exciting, end-to-end clash as the former champions host the newly-crowned champions on Thursday (start time, 3:15pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City will give Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool the guard of honor as they walk out onto the pitch and with Liverpool sealing the English title at the earliest point in history (seven games to go), they will receive that treatment in each of their remaining games of the season.
Man City have pretty much sealed second place in the Premier League but they will be keen to put down a marker for next season, as they lost 3-1 at Liverpool earlier this season in a pulsating clash. When these two teams collide, sparks fly and they’ve been so tough to separate over the last few seasons.
This will be much of the same as Klopp’s side will be hoping to break all kinds of records from Man City’s 2018-19 title-winning season. Man City will prioritize the FA Cup and Champions League in the final months of the 2019-20 season but Pep will take this game against Liverpool very seriously as they aim to set the tone for the title battle next season.
Below is your Manchester City – Liverpool preview in full.
Man City will be without Sergio Aguero after his knee surgery, while Eric Garcia is likely to miss out after his head injury against Arsenal but Fernandinho is back after suspension.
Liverpool will likely be without James Milner and Joel Matip who have minor injuries, while Jurgen Klopp has suggested he will give plenty of chances to youngsters in the final weeks of the season now the title is wrapped up.
How we line-up tonight against Liverpool! 💪
XI | Ederson, Walker, Garcia, Laporte, Mendy, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (C), Foden, Jesus, Sterling.
Subs | Bravo, Stones, Zinchenko, Bernardo, D.Silva, Mahrez, Cancelo, Otamendi, Doyle.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 2, 2020
⭐️ TEAM NEWS ⭐️
— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) July 2, 2020
What they’re saying
Pep Guardiola on the guard of honor: “Of course we are going to do it. We are going to do the guard of honor of course. Always we receive Liverpool when they come to our house in an incredible way. They cannot complain and of course we are going to do it because they deserve it.”
Jurgen Klopp on strengthening his squad: “We want to strengthen this squad and this squad is strong. The problem is how do you improve a strong squad on the transfer market? It works with money, obviously, but it never works only with money. You have to be creative and we try to be creative. We try to find solutions internally. And there is still a lot to come. We have three or four players who can make big, big steps. People will be afraid that these boys will get lazy [after winning the league]. These boys, like they showed against Crystal Palace, cannot get lazy. It is just not in their nature.”
Odds and ends (Full Matchweek 32 odds)
Manchester City are the favorites (+102), while Liverpool may take their foot off the gas now the title is wrapped up and they are the underdogs (+235). The tie is perhaps where the best value bet lies at +290.
This should be game where all-out attack takes priority as the shackles will be off. Man City are focused on the FA Cup and Champions League but they will want to put on a show here. Liverpool’s players have celebrated over the last week but they will be hungry to finish the season strongly and break even more records. I think this will be a high-scoring draw. Let’s call it 2-2.