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Every weekend in the English Premier League, there are one or two games that stand head and shoulders above the rest. As soccer fans, we all scour the schedule after it is released to see where those big games fall. We then predict which ones will have the biggest impact on the title race as we head into the new season. Given how things went last year, we all looked at the schedule and pointed to this game as being the one that might well swing the title one way or another. We were all very wrong in that assertion, though, as the title race in the English Premier League was essentially over before we headed into the enforced lockdown. This was a game that we thought we might not get to see at all, but Project Restart has been a fabulous success, so here we are. The downside is that the showdown between the top two teams in the league has been rendered meaningless, with Liverpool already clinching the title. That, though, may mean that this one proves to be a little more open than it would otherwise have been if the title was still up for grabs. The bookies have this one in as a PK play, with the goal total set at 3.
When: Thursday, July 2 at 3:15 PM EST
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Why bet on Manchester City
Manchester City find themselves in a rather weird state of flux at the moment, as they still do not know if their second place finish in the league will mean anything. They were issued a 2-year European ban by UEFA, but they are awaiting the results of an appeal in that case, which should come in July. They do still have the FA Cup and the UCL to look forward to before this season is over, but they would also probably like to get one over on the champions on Thursday. They were certainly soundly beaten at Anfield earlier this season, going down 3-1 in that one. Manchester City are a much tougher out at home, though, where they are 11-2-2, scoring 41 and giving up 12.
Why bet on Liverpool
With the title now safely tucked away in their back pocket, you do wonder just how Liverpool are going to motivate themselves the remainder of the way this season. Are they going to simply stroll through the rest of their games or are they going to go all out to deliver a season for the ages? This game might well just give us a little glimpse into what to expect in that regard and it will all start with the team selection. Liverpool will be looking for some revenge after losing 2-1 to Manchester City in their last visit to the Etihad. They are coming off a big 4-0 win over Crystal Palace and will hit the road with a 12-2-1 record this season. They have scored 26 and given up just 9 in those games.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I think that we are in for a truly entertaining game of football on Thursday afternoon, as I think these two might just come out like a pair of heavyweights and go toe to toe. I am on the OVER in this one.
Manchester City 2 Liverpool 2