Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Manchester City vs Liverpool in the Premier League on Thursday (kick-off 8.15pm).
Manchester City remain without the suspended Fernandinho, who must complete the second game of his two-match ban for the red card at Chelsea and either John Stones or Nicolas Otamendi is likely to play alongside Aymeric Laporte.
City will be without winger Leroy Sane for the visit of new Premier League champions as he nears a move to Bayern Munich.
Sergio Aguero is out for the season, while Eric Garcia looks set to be absent due to the head injury he suffered against Arsenal.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have no new injury concerns ahead of the match, with Joel Matip the only player sidelined.
Matip appeared in the Merseyside derby when Liverpool resumed their season on June 21 but has been sidelined since with a toe problem.
Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson both returned to Klopp’s starting line-up for last Wednesday’s 4-0 rout of Crystal Palace, with Salah getting on the scoresheet.
How to follow
Follow the match on Sky Sports Premier League without crowd noise and Sky Sports Main Event with crowd noise from 8pm; kick-off 8.15pm. Also keep up-to-date in our dedicated live blog with in-game clips, as well as highlights published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after full-time.
Liverpool are Premier League champions and congratulations to them. They have been outstanding in every area.
What we will see in this game is an open game of football. It should suit Liverpool to go head-to-head with Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne has been the star – he played an hour against Arsenal after tearing them apart and then the same with Newcastle, so he could be rested. His form has just continued.
City will not try to beat Liverpool to prove a point. They will build for the semi-final of the FA Cup and the Champions League when it comes around. Raheem Sterling has been scoring and playing better, which is the same as Riyad Mahrez. David Silva has been playing well as always. It will be one of these enjoyable matches.
The goals have been few and far between since the break, but the two sides respect each other, the way they want the ball and use the ball, and that is why they will be happy to go head-to-head. The champions will not be embarrassed by having a low percentage of the ball, but they will use the ball superbly when they get it. There will be some magical players on show and I think we will get just that sort of game.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 3-2 (20/1 with Sky Bet)
Sky Sports are broadcasting 64 live Premier League games for the 2019/20 season resumption. In addition to the 39 matches already scheduled to be broadcast exclusively live on Sky Sports before the coronavirus interruption, 25 more matches are being broadcast on both Sky Sports Premier League and Sky’s free-to-air Pick channel, allowing the whole nation to be part of the return of live sport.
To celebrate the return of the Premier League, Sky Sports have also launched a host of innovative new features and updates to give fans an even more immersive experience and share the moments live with family and friends on virtual platforms.
- Manchester City have won their last two Premier League home games against Liverpool – they’ve not won three consecutively against the Reds since March 1937 (a run of four).
- Liverpool are looking to complete a Premier League double over City for just the third time, also doing so in 2005-06 and 2015-16.
- Liverpool have won just one of their last 10 Premier League away games against City (D3 L6), winning 4-1 in November 2015 in manager Jürgen Klopp’s first match against them.
- City’s only previous competitive matches in July were in qualifying for the 2008-09 UEFA Cup, winning 2-0 home and away against Faroese side EB/Streymur.
- This is Liverpool’s first competitive match in July since 2010, when they won 2-0 at Rabotnicki in Europa League qualifying.
- With seven games remaining, Liverpool have won the title earlier than any other team in top-flight history. The last team to lose a Premier League game in a season after they confirmed the title was Chelsea in May 2015 against West Brom – in games of this kind since, champion teams are unbeaten in 10 matches (W8 D2).
- Liverpool have won all three of their Premier League games played on Thursdays so far this season – before this term, they’d drawn three and lost three of their six Premier League games played on Thursday.
- In his managerial career, City boss Pep Guardiola has lost more games against Jurgen Klopp than he has any other manager (eight), while against no side has he lost more games than he has against Liverpool (five, level with Manchester United and Chelsea). This will be the Spaniard’s 400th top-flight match as a manager (W305 D54 L40).
- Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 99 goals in just 114 Premier League appearances (73 goals, 26 assists). A goal or assist in this game would mean only Alan Shearer would have reached 100 goal involvements in fewer appearances (100).
- Pep Guardiola has lost as many top-flight league matches in his four seasons in the Premier League as Manchester City manager (P145 W107 D18 L20) as he lost in his previous seven seasons in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich in La Liga and the Bundesliga (P254 W198 D36 L20).