After the rivalry sparked by Manchester City and Liverpool’s titanic battle for the title has had a chance to cool off for a few weeks during the World Cup, the Premier League’s top two will meet again in New York on Wednesday night.
It is a friendly that could tell us a lot about the two teams and their signings for the new season ahead, with a meeting scheduled at Eastlands just two weeks into the new season. Here are five players it is worth keeping an eye on during the match.
The young Serbian played his first 45 minutes for the Reds during their 1-0 win against Olympiacos, and he showed a couple of flashes of what has got Liverpool fans talking excitedly about their new wing wonder.
He won a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box before combining with fellow new signing Emre Can and dancing past three of the Greek side’s defence but sending his shot high and wide. This match should be an interesting insight into how he fares against the more physical defences he will encounter in the Premier League.
He scored the winner against City in the thrilling 3-2 win at Anfield that looked to have handed Liverpool the title and has arguably been their player of the pre-season, but with competition coming in in all the positions he plays in from Lallana, Can and Markovic, he will want to prove himself should he get a chance here.
His eye for a pass and dribbling is as good as it has ever been but his shooting is still something that lets him down too often and he will be looking to build on encouraging performances here.
Sterling is the rising star of both the Liverpool team and the national side; an accolade he deserves on the back of his performances throughout the second half of last season.
It must not be forgotten, however, that Sterling actually struggled through the first half of last season, with his frustration being compounded during an abject 3-1 defeat to Hull City.
He needs to prove that he is more than just a one-season wonder now that LuisSuarez has left and there are plenty of hungry players fighting for his position if he does not manage to do that.
Watch: Latest Liverpool transfer news
Jovetic came to England from Fiorentina with a big reputation as a goalscorer but a combination of injury and inconsistency kept him out of the team last season, as he played only 16 times, scoring six goals.
However, during the game against AC Milan he showed a sharpness and awareness that was absent last season, bagging a brace of goals in the process. At just 24, he still has a lot of room to grow as a player, and this is his chance to step up and challenge the likes of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko for a starting berth in a big way.
Perhaps the first significant challenge to Joe Hart’s position for a number of years, he averaged 2.48 saves per goal last season at Malaga compared to Hart’s 1.59.
He looked promising against Milan, making a couple of good saves, though City did seem to lack organisation from corners and free kicks, though that is to be expected given their makeshift defence in pre-season.
A good performance here could see him seriously challenging for Hart’s number one spot.
Liverpool and Manchester City play in New York on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, kicking off at 12.10 am.
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