Competition/Round: 2018 International Champions Cup – Matchday 2
Venue: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA
TV Info: SKY (UK); ESPN Deportes, ESPN 2 (USA)
Live Stream: Premier Sports (UK); WatchESPN (USA)
Manchester City and Liverpool both started their preseason tour in the United States with a friendly match against Borussia Dortmund. Coincidentally, both English clubs lost to the German side. Whilst both managers took many positives from their respective matches, the English clubs will look to bounce back from the defeat.
Manchester City will be better organized for this fixture as the Blues have an additional two days of preparation and rest compared to the Reds. Moreover, after being thrashed by the Scousers in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, the Mancunian club will hope to make amends, albeit a small one, in the upcoming friendly.
Meanwhile, the Scousers will look to regroup after a last-minute loss to Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp will tinker with his side, and with a reshuffled starting eleven, this could lead to an entertaining fixture on Wednesday.
Following City’s loss to Dortmund on Friday, there has been a bit of unrest in senior squad. After a falling out with City manager Pep Guardiola, English goalkeeper Joe Hart has been eager to permanently move to another club. Moreover, Jason Denayer and Patrick Roberts have expressed their dissatisfaction, as both men spent most of their time on loan away from their parent club. Therefore, as the Blues edge closer to the start of the 2018/19 English Premier League season, and with the deadline of the 2018 Summer Transfer Window slowly approaching, it is possible this could be the trio’s final appearance in a City shirt.
Whilst Liverpool do not have any unrest at the moment, the Reds, like the Blues, are also missing several of their players as they are away on holiday. As a result, Klopp has relied upon a limited squad, albeit he has received some help from a new leader. Dutchman Virgil van Dijk has adopted a new role as he is mentoring some of Liverpool’s academy players. With his experience and prowess, the defender hopes to help some of the youth break into Liverpool’s senior squad, which could prove to be vital in the upcoming EPL season.
Hart; Garcia, Laporte, Adarabioyo, Zinchenko; Diaz, Douglas Luiz, Foden; Roberts, Nmecha, Sané
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Karius; Clyne, Klavan, van Dijk, Moreno; Milner, Fabinho, Jones; Camacho, Sturridge, Solanke
Manager: Jürgen Klopp
In what has been an entertaining matchup over the past several seasons, this will surely be a delightful encounter. In competitive matches, Liverpool lead the head to head with 104 victories, 52 draws and 54 losses, thus the Scousers have dominated the Mancunians over the past two centuries.
Moreover, Klopp leads the head to head record against Guardiola with six victories, one draw and five defeats. Albeit a preseason friendly with little to play for, this will undoubtedly be an enthralling match between the two experienced managers.
Most importantly, however, is what is to come in the forthcoming season. Over the past two months, Liverpool have spent a reported €182.2 million in this summer’s transfer window. In addition, the Reds spent €70.92 million on van Dijk during the 2018 January Transfer Window. In other words, the Scousers have spent €253.12 million in the last two transfer windows. Whilst Klopp has previously criticized other clubs for spending a lot of money in these windows, Liverpool’s recent transfer activity clearly shows they will attempt to challenge for the EPL title.
Manchester City are still favoured to retain the title, but with Liverpool’s exorbitant spending on a revamped squad, the Reds could certainly dethrone the Champions. Therefore, whilst much of the senior team is still away on holiday, this preseason match could set the stage for the battle of the 2018/19 EPL title.
Manchester City 2-2 Liverpool; Liverpool to win on penalties