It’s been a few days now since our 30 year-long wait came to an end. And some of us may still be struggling to come to terms with the fact that we, the Reds, are Premier League Champions. LFC Transfer Room writer Shaun Bowden (@Shaun_Bowden) takes a look at tomorrow’s match against Manchester City, in what is a must-watch clash between the two best sides in English football.
It’s been a hectic week. Actually, hectic is putting it lightly.
But now it’s time to sober up and once again feast our eyes on these brilliant Reds. Whilst there are still seven matches left to play, our primary objective – the Premier League title – has already been achieved. It’s a weird feeling, huh. But a pleasing one!
Next up: Manchester City at the Etihad.
And Manchester City are set to give Jurgen’s boys a guard of honour. Raheem Sterling and co., clapping out the brand new Champions of England will be a sight to behold. I, for one, can’t wait.
The trophy may already be ours, but there are still records to be broken. This squad and manager will be desperate to prove they are the greatest to do it. For many fans, the Reds already had one hand on the trophy following the 3-1 victory over Pep Guardiola’s side at Anfield in November. But doing the double over City after securing the title would be the cherry on top of the cake.
Liverpool, despite Wednesday’s 4-0 romp to victory over Crystal Palace and subsequent title glory, are down to 5th in the form table, with three wins, one loss (which we won’t talk about), and one draw in their last five fixtures. Manchester City sit a place below, with three wins and two losses, including that defining 2-1 defeat to Chelsea last Wednesday.
The Citizens will be determined to rain on Liverpool’s parade though. And so it makes for a cracking watch – for both fan and neutral.
Impressively, since Jurgen Klopp took over at Anfield, Manchester City have managed just two wins against the German in nine Premier League outings. The latest being the 2-1 win in this very fixture last season which ultimately meant they pipped Liverpool to the title.
We all remember that agonising goal-line clearance by John Stones, which is emblematic of how tight it was between these two great sides last year. That’s what they are – two of the greats – and I’m sure they’ll battle it out for the title next season as well.
Manchester City will be without star striker Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian underwent knee surgery after aggravating an existing injury during their recent win over Burnley. Aguero is set to miss a large chunk of the remainder of the season, which may end up denting their treble hopes.
Eric Garcia’s collision with teammate Ederson in City’s first game back since the restart has kept him out of action since. But he could potentially make a return against Liverpool. That’s if Guardiola feels it’s a necessary risk to take of course.
Fernandinho’s red card against Chelsea means he is suspended for this one. His deliberate handball on the goal-line – thereby preventing a clear goal – led to Willian’s winning penalty which ultimately confirmed Liverpool as champions; nice one mate!
Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Tuesday morning that Joel Matip is out for the remainder of the season with a toe injury. So Joe Gomez will surely partner Virgil Van Dijk at the back.
James Milner also remains a major doubt, having picked up a hamstring injury in the stalemate against Everton. Thankfully, Klopp has confirmed that Milly’s injury isn’t serious. But it remains unlikely that he’ll play any part in this one.
One man who has returned to training, however, is Xherdan Shaqiri. The forgotten man has been struggling with a calf injury all season. But he still unable to make his comeback.
Predicted Score and Line-up:
You can never quite know exactly how things will go. Especially when these two face each other. However, my gut feeling is that Manchester City will be out to prove a point before next season. I’m gonna go with 2-2, but, as I said, this really could go either way; both sides are likely to put out their strongest possible line-up.
Predicted Result: Manchester City 2-2 Liverpool
Predicted Line-Up: (4-3-3) Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.