The Guinness International Champions Cup will continue pool play as Manchester City face off against Liverpool on Wednesday. So far, both teams have logged three points making the July 30 match a definitive one for pool play. The Premier League adversaries will face off at the Yankee Stadium in New York.
Liverpool kicked-off the tournament with a 1-0 defeat over Greek giants, Olympiacos. The game’s only goal was netted by Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling after the 19-year-old finished a missed opportunity from striker Daniel Sturridge. Early in the first half, Steven Gerrard slotted a pass to Sturridge who was unable to get off an adequate strike just outside the box. The ball deflected off of Olympiacos defender Éric Abidal, and had Sterling not continued his run into the box, he would not have been able to convert the deflection for Liverpool.
Liverpool manager, Brendan Rogers, was pleased following Sturridge’s performance against Olympiacos, stating, “I have seen a difference in [Sturridge] and I think he’s ready to be the main man.” Sturridge, who is looking to fill the Barcelona-sized hole left by Luis Suarez, is confident that the squad Rogers has strung together will step up for a successful showing this season.
Manchester City’s first game of the International Champions Cup resulted in a 5-1 thrashing of AC Milan and was a great showcasing opportunity for some of the club’s newly signed players, as well as its seasoned veterans. In the first 30 minutes of the match, City saw goals from Stevan Jovetić, Scott Sinclair, Jesús Navas and Kelechi Iheanacho.
City’s performance was especially well received by Stevan Jovetić fans that got the opportunity to see the player bounce back from a tough 2013 season. Jovetić converted his second goal of the match in the second half, illustrating the importance of preseason friendlies for players trying to mentally and physically bounce back from injury.
The International Champions Cup continues to field news of various summer transfer deals. Liverpool central defender Daniel Agger was reportedly sent home following an injury, further fueling headlines that the player is set to make the move to Barcelona. As Agger heads home, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and defender Mamadou Sakho arrive post World Cup to assist Liverpool for Wednesday’s game against City.
City manager, Manuel Pellegrini will also welcome back World Cup stars, however, it has been reported that he is unlikely to field the returnees. If this is in fact the case, City will have to deal without the likes of Edin Džeko, Joe Hart and David Silva. However, City has shown the capacity to log high-scoring games during preseason without the help of some of the team’s major players. In addition to the team’s five goals against Milan in their tournament opener, City handed Sporting Kansas a 4-1 defeat last Thursday.
Wednesday’s game between Manchester City and Liverpool will feature last year’s top two finishers of the Premier League as they compete for the top slot in group B of the Guinness International Champions Cup. The game will be held at New York City’s Yankee Stadium and in the US can be viewed in live on ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports GO and Fox Soccer 2Go at 7pm EST.
Commentary by Courtney Anderson