This is one of the few campaigns where there are numerous sides making a title challenge and there’s no doubt that both of these clubs fall into this category. Manchester City and Liverpool were the outfits who were both pushing for the top honours last term and after the former came out on top, Brendan Rodgers’ Reds will be hoping to gain the upper hand at such an early stage of the season.
In comparison to previous summers, it would be fair to say that Manchester City’s changes were on a much milder scale although this is probably due to their title-winning success from last term. Manuel Pellegrini has seemingly plugged all of the gaps that were evident from the last campaign, with just a handful of high-profile recruits coming into the club. Following the opening game such an approach looks to be working, with City securing a comfortable 2-0 win at Newcastle last week. Such a result has at least cancelled out that 3-0 loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield, although it will now be interesting to see just how they react to one of the so-called bigger teams after faltering against Liverpool last term.
In contrast to their opponents, Liverpool have been exceptionally busy in the transfer market. They’ve almost overhauled their squad during the summer and it therefore remains to be seen just how they will fare through the remainder of the campaign. The signs from the opening day certainly weren’t convincing, with the Anfield outfit only edging past Southampton in 2-1 style. Nevertheless, as time progresses one can only imagine that their new-look team will start to gel and the latest capture of Mario Balotelli is sure to shake things up – even if he hasn’t completed his switch in time to face his former club.
As for team news, Manchester City still won’t have Sergio Aguero available to feature as he struggles with his fitness. Another player in the same boat is Eliaquim Mangala, who is also short of match fitness and will have to wait for his debut. Liverpool meanwhile might be able to give a couple of their summer recruits starting debuts, with Lazar Markovic and Alberto Moreno both pushing to be included in Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven. However, there won’t be a place for Adam Lallana, who still hasn’t recovered from his injury.
If we look towards a prediction, we think Manchester City will make their home advantage count this Monday. While they did lose to Liverpool last season, they do look much stronger whereas their opponents are certainly in the midst of a rebuilding process which could halt their early-season form. With that, our tip will be a 2-0 win for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.