Preview of the Thursday night's big clash
After being crowned as the Premier League champions last Thursday, Jurgen Klopp’s men will be looking to assert their superiority over 2nd placed Pep Guardiola’s side.
Apart from feeling the pain of meeting the side that has dethroned them from the top spot, Pep Guardiola’s men will also give their guests a guard of honor before the match.
However, as Jurgen Klopp has been at pains to hammer home over the past few weeks, Man City aren’t too far behind Liverpool and will certainly give the champions a run for their money.
The last meeting between the two sides resulted in a comfortable 3-1 home victory for Liverpool, but the match wasn’t lacking in terms of controversy as City were denied a clear penalty in a game that was made more famous by Pep Guardiola gesticulating angrily to the on-field officials.
The German manager also confirmed that his side has no fresh injury concerns apart from Joel Matip who has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign. James Milner also remains a major doubt as he is still recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up while playing against the Toffees.
Matip suffered an injury in the latter stages of Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Everton on Boxing Day and went on to miss his side’s 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace before revealing to the official club website that he won’t be able to return to the pitch before next season.
Pep Guardiola faces a selection headache ahead of the game as star players Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho have both been ruled out of the clash. The Argentine striker will miss the game due to injury while Fernandinho will be serving the first of his three-game suspension.
The Spaniard hinted before the restart of the Premier League that he’d be prioritizing cup competitions from now until the end of this term. He may therefore be expected to rest all the key players who started in last Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Newcastle United.
When he trades fist-bumps with his counterpart before the first whistle on Thursday, Guardiola will know that Klopp is undoubtedly his biggest nemesis.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager has achieved nine wins over teams managed by Pep Guardiola, more than any manager the Spaniard has faced.
Their meetings during the time they have spent together in England also favor Klopp to get a positive result on Thursday night, as Liverpool have lost only twice to Guardiola’s Man City in the Premier League, managing five victories and two draws in the process.
Hence the reason why we are favoring Liverpool to eke out a victory on Thursday night.
Probable Manchester City starting lineup vs Liverpool: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva; Mahrez, Silva, Sterling
Probable Liverpool starting lineup vs Manchester City: Alisson; Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
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