That’s Odd: A guard of honour from the champions
A 2-1 defeat to Chelsea for Manchester City in the mid-week not only gave Liverpool their first league title in 30 years, but the next line of fixture means the new champions would be at the receiving end of getting a guard of honour from the former champions when they visit the Etihad Stadium on Friday, July 3 (as per IST).
It took just two games into the Premier League’s Project Restart to draw curtains, but the league has anyway been a one-sided affair since the time Liverpool cruised into a 22-point lead over second-placed Manchester City. As things stand, the drama lies in achieving the remaining Champions League spots, with as many as seven teams fighting for just two positions.
Manchester City vs Liverpool
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City endured their eight loss of the season when they visited Chelsea this week. Up next for them is a home fixture against Liverpool. City taking on Liverpool has always promised goals, to say the least. In fact, as many as 19 goals have been scored in their last five meetings, with both City and Liverpool winning twice.
City have been quite firm at home against Liverpool in the league, with their last defeat at the Etihad coming back in 2015 when goals from Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Martin Skrtel sealed a 4-1 win for the visitors. Since then, only four players are still at Liverpool.
Known for their free-flowing football, City have scored at least one goal against Liverpool at home since 2010. Therefore, don’t expect it to be a dull affair.
Watch out for:
Having scored 15 goals and seven assists in 28 league appearances this season, Sadio Mane has been the scourge of Manchester City, with the Senegalese scoring two in his last three league games against the Cityzens. And while Mohamed Salah carries a similar record, the impact he has had against Manchester City in the past is hard to ignore. Expect him to play a big role at the Etihad.
Everton vs Leicester City
This may not be the most high-profile game of the week but it indeed remains one to watch as the league tightens its grip in the final four standings. Leicester, who are yet to win a game since the Premier League Project Restart, have stumbled on their way, and Everton, on the contrary, have been quite positive.
Both teams are coming into the game with two losses and a solitary win in their last five league fixtures. Their head-to-head count, however, favours visitors Leicester, who have won three of their last five meetings. Furthermore, at least two goals have been scored in four of their last five encounters.
Forward Jamie Vardy has scored 19 goals in the league this season, but his recent form remains a cause of concern for the Foxes. Regardless of that, the fact remains that he loves scoring against Everton, having accumulated four goals in his last five games against the Toffees.
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Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis