Manchester City vs. Liverpool will kick off Matchday 4 of the 2017-18 Premier League season on Saturday at Etihad Stadium. Manchester City and Liverpool are two of the top teams in the early standings and they want to establish their position now rather than later. City is coming off a win before the international break while the Reds have more momentum since they embarrassed Arsenal in their last game.
The Citizens needed a last-minute goal to beat Bournemouth, 2-1, at the Vitality Stadium last August 26, per Sky Sports. Charlie Daniels opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game before Gabriel Jesus equalized in the 21st minute. Raheem Sterling netted the game-winner in the 97th minute but he was sent off because of a second yellow card for his celebration. Sterling won’t be available against his former club since he’s automatically suspended for his red card.
On the other hand, Liverpool was the big winners on Matchday 3 after the 4-0 hammering of Arsenal on August 27 at Anfield. As reported by The Guardian, Roberto Firmino opened the scoring for the home side in the 17th with Sadio Mane doubling the score five minutes before half-time. Mohamed Salah added a third goal in the 57th minute while Daniel Sturridge put on the finishing touches 20 minutes later.
But the question on every Liverpool fans’ mind is the availability of superstar Philippe Coutinho, who handed in his transfer request this summer but remained in Anfield. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed that Coutinho is not going to play against Manchester City because he is not yet fit despite training with Brazil during the international break.
“I know what people think but Phil had the back problem a few weeks ago and couldn’t train so that means he missed around about three weeks. Yes, he went to the national team and trained normally, but now we have to prepare for a normal season.”
Coutinho was Liverpool’s best player for the past couple of seasons but he appeared to be heading to Barcelona this summer. However, the transfer failed as Liverpool rejected Barcelona’s offer three times before the end of the transfer deadline on August 31. As of now, Coutinho is still a Liverpool player and he trained with the team on Thursday.
Nevertheless, Jurgen Klopp will have an almost complete roster with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain possibly making his debut for Liverpool while Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana are still out with injuries. On the other hand, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City are going to have home field advantage but they are without the suspended Sterling and the still-injured Ilkay Gundogan.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool is scheduled on Saturday, September 9, at the Etihad Stadium. The kickoff time is at 4:30 a.m. PST, 7:30 a.m. EST, and 12:30 p.m. BST. Fans in the United States can watch the game on NBCSN while it will be televised on Sky Sports Main Event in the United Kingdom. Manchester City vs. Liverpool is also available via live stream at NBC Sports Live, fuboTV, SKY GO Extra, and NOW TV UK.
[Featured Image by Michael Regan/Getty Images]