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24 Jul 2018

International Champions Cup: Manchester City vs Liverpool - Lineups, Preview & Prediction

International Champions Cup: Manchester City vs Liverpool -
Lineups, Preview & Prediction

Two Premier League heavyweights will meet in the International Champions Cup in preparation for the upcoming season.

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01:00 BST, Thursday 26th July, MetLife Stadium (New Jersey, USA) 

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Last Time Out

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Manchester City Lineup

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Liverpool Lineup 

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Key battle: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) vs Naby Keita (Liverpool) 

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Talking points

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Prediction: Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool

REUTERS/John Gress

01:00 BST, Thursday 26th July, MetLife Stadium (New Jersey, USA) 

The two teams from the northwest of England will meet over 3,000 miles away in the United States to battle it out in the International Champions Cup.

Both teams had successful 2017/18 seasons, with Manchester City winning the Premier League emphatically and Liverpool reaching the Champions League final. This game will be a good measure of their pre-season progress and should feature new signings from both sides. 

Last Time Out

Manchester City 0-1 Borussia Dortmund [International Champions Cup]

Riyad Mahrez made his Citizens debut against Dortmund, but Pep Guardiola's makeshift side failed to impact Marwin Hitz's goal, with former Leicester City winger Mahrez forcing a save from a free kick.

REUTERS/John Gress

Christian Pulisic, playing on home turf in the US, was the standout player, and it was his run that led to a foul against him in the penalty area -  he was tripped by Oleksandr Zinchenko and Mario Gotze converted the resulting penalty.

Joe Hart - who made his return to City action in the second half - saw a Mahmoud Dahoud effort go wide, but was otherwise relatively untested.

Liverpool 1-3 Borussia Dortmund [International Champions Cup]

Jurgen Klopp suffered his first defeat of pre-season as a Pulisic double saw Dortmund win 3-1 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Virgil van Dijk put the Reds ahead with a towering header from Andrew Robertson's corner, but Pulisic reversed the scoreline to put Dortmund ahead.

REUTERS/Chris Keane

He won a penalty after a foul from James Milner - and converted the effort - before rounding off a quick counter-attack to make it 2-1. The American also set up Jacob Bruun Larsen for the third, with Loris Karius parrying his shot into Larsen's path.

Manchester City Lineup

Most of City’s first team player, such as Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne will still be recovering from the World Cup.

Pep Guardiola will play a similar youthful line-up to the one that faced Dortmund, giving young talent such as Phil Foden and Luke Bolton a chance to shine. £60 million signing Mahrez should also make his second appearance for the club.

Liverpool Lineup 

Liverpool have signed goalkeeper Alisson Becker for £67 million but he will not be ready to make an appearance in this game, giving error prone Loris Karius the start in goal.

Again, Liverpool are missing first-team players, but do have quality available in Adam Lallana, Robertson, van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne.

Daniel Sturridge could start as Klopp tries to get him back to his best, and this game may see the first start for £52.75 million signing Naby Keita.

Key battle: Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) vs Naby Keita (Liverpool) 

Two players who cost their respective clubs over £50 million could face off against each other in this game. 

Mahrez played 72 minutes for City in their first ICC match against Dortmund and impressed, coming very close to scoring twice. Guardiola will be keen to further integrate him into the team and should once again play him out wide. 

REUTERS/Chris Keane

Keita also appeared for his new club against Dortmund, playing the second half in Liverpool’s defeat to the Bundesliga side. He also had a similar impact on the team, showing creativity and attacking threat.

With both players looking to justify their price tags, they could decisive in which team comes out victorious. 

Talking points

Premier League favourites

Manchester City and Liverpool are perhaps the two favourites to win the Premier League next season. Klopp and Guardiola have been managers of their clubs for at least two seasons now, giving them the sufficient time to construct a team to their liking.

This will give them an advantage over teams such as Arsenal and Chelsea, who welcome new managers this season. They have also both spent significant sums on new players over the past couple of years, and so boast quality line ups.

This pre-season encounter between two potential league winners could give a sign of who will eventually come out dominant.

Pressure on Karius

Karius’ role as Liverpool’s number one was already under threat after his disastrous performance during the Champions League final.

REUTERS/Ed Sykes

He has not helped himself with bad errors in pre-season games against Tranmere Rovers and Borussia Dortmund, suggesting he has not mentally recovered from that fateful night in Kiev. 

To put more pressure on the young goalkeeper, Liverpool have now signed Alisson for £67 million. Karius will have to carry out the performance of his life to have any chance of continuing his role as Liverpool’s number one keeper. 

Prediction: Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool

Liverpool will just edge this pre-season fixture, having more first team players available to start. However, Manchester City will score at least once, capitalising on Liverpool’s weakness at the back - Loris Karius.