Man City vs Liverpool: Guardiola aims to close gap on cruising Arsenal TODAY but Reds have their own fight – stream, TV | The Sun
IT may not be the oldest rivalry. It may not be the most local of derbies.
But, make no mistake, Manchester City vs Liverpool is a contest which has blossomed in recent seasons – and another chapter unfolds TODAY.
The two giants of English football have gone toe-to-toe in the Premier League for the last few years.
And while City have landed more of the haymakers – including a dramatic, three-goal comeback win on the final day of last season to snatch the title from the Reds – Liverpool have got a few good jabs in.
From 2018 onwards, it's been between Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp for the title. No exceptions.
This year, for the first time in what seemed like a never-ending era of Premier League football, Liverpool no longer the top challengers.
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But nor are Man City the main contenders for the title.
In 2022-23, a young Arsenal squad guided by Pep's protegee, Mikel Arteta, have stormed to an eight-point lead at the top of table.
So for both clubs, this feels like uncharted territory.
Liverpool are back to their glum, pre-Klopp days of desperately scrapping for the final Champions League qualification spot but stumbling their quest.
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A big win reignites hope among the passionate Kop fan-base before a gutting defeat against a relegation candidate brings them crashing back down to earth.
The fight for a European place is hotter than ever this season, with the top 11 all fighting for a maximum of seven places.
Liverpool will, of course, hope to snatch a top-four spot but may be forced to settle for Europa League – or even Europa Conference League – action with the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham and Brighton all flying high this term.
And then there's Chelsea, currently tenth but desperate to make a late charge.
So for Klopp, every match is a cup final. Every match a must-win. They're out of all domestic cups and the Champions League – the focus now is on top four.
They've made a late charge before, in 2020-21, when Alisson scored a last-minute header against West Brom to keep their surge up the table alive in a season blighted by injuries to key players.
So that's their fight. But what about City?
Well, the master Guardiola has watched apprentice Arteta guide his youthful Gunners to an eight-point lead atop the table.
Man City have a game in hand and also have a six-pointer showdown with Arsenal to look forward to.. the absolute epitome of must-win for them.
Win their game in hand and beat the North Londoners and suddenly that gap is just two points, but they're already relying on favours from Arsenal.
The Gunners are a young squad in uncharted territory, relying on ex-City stars Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus for their title-winning know-how.
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But for now, Guardiola must focus on Liverpool… and City haven't beaten the Reds in the Premier League since February 2021.
They lost the game at Anfield 1-0 earlier this season. They also lost the season curtain-raiser – the Community Shield – 3-1 and were dumped out of last season's FA Cup in a semi-final defeat at Wembley.
They did get a morale-boosting 3-2 win in the Carabao Cup this term, but both sides will be much changed come Saturday at 12.30pm.
On paper, City should be beating Liverpool. They've had a better season, with their key players firing and they've got home advantage… as well as scoring 13 goals in their last two matches.
But as with any rivalry, form and predictions go out the window.
Even though they harbour different ambitions this season, a loss for either team is terminal for their dreams.
Who can handle the pressure?
What is their form like?
Man City: In a word: Rampant.
City have won their last six games, including a 7-0 Champions League win over RB Leipzig and a 6-0 win over Vincent Kompany's Burnley in the FA Cup.
As always, Guardiola is ensuring his side finish the season strongly.
Liverpool: Inconsistent, but largely quite poor.
How can you beat Man Utd 7-0 and then lost 1-0 to Bournemouth? Somehow, the Reds found a way.
Liverpool have also lost 5-2 and 1-0 to Real Madrid in their Champions League last 16 tie, while drawing with Crystal Palace.
What is the team news?
Man City: Pep Guardiola will be sweating over the fitness of goal-machine Erling Haaland who was forced to withdraw from his international duties with Norway following a groin injury.
England star Phil Foden could be out for up to a month after undergoing appendicitis surgery.
Liverpool: Cody Gakpo (virus) and Darwin Nunez (knock) will need to be assessed ahead of the huge trip to the Etihad while Thiago (groin) remains doubtful.
Talented youngster Stefan Bajcetic is out for the season after sustaining a serious groin issue.
But Jurgen Klopp could hand Luis Diaz his first run out since before the World Cup as the tricky winger has returned to full training.
Who will be the star men?
Man City: Erling Haaland.
He's scored eight goals in his last two matches, including FIVE against Leipzig.
Haaland has 48 goals in 43 matches in all competitions for club and country this season.
Liverpool: Mohamed Salah.
He's not been at his red-hot best this season.
But he's still been incredibly good with 24 goals in all competitions – including the winner in the reverse fixture at Anfield.
Liverpool will need him now more than ever if they are to grab a top-four spot.
Man City 2 Liverpool 2
When is Man City vs Liverpool?
- Manchester City's mouth-watering match against Liverpool will take place TODAY – Saturday, April 1.
- It is scheduled to get underway at 12:30pm UK time.
- Etihad Stadium in Manchester is the allocated arena for this game and it can host approximately 53,400 fans.
- Pep Guardiola's side ran out 3-2 winners when the sides last met during a Carabao Cup tie in December.
What channel is it on and can it be live streamed?
- Manchester City vs Liverpool will be broadcast LIVE on BT Sport 1 in the UK.
- Coverage is set to commence from 11:30pm UK time – a whole hour before kick-off.
- Subscription members of BT Sport can stream the entire action live through the website or BT Sport app.
- Alternatively, SunSport will have minute-by-minute coverage of the action including build up and fallout reaction.
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What are the odds?
- Man City to win 3/5
- Draw 3/1
- Liverpool to win 17/4
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes are correct at time of publication
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