Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Man City v Liverpool FC

Mark Lawrenson is backing Manchester City and Liverpool FC to share the spoils on Thursday night

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (Photo: New Balance)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Liverpool FC to secure a point at Manchester City in their first Premier League game as champions on Thursday night.

The Reds secured their first Premier League title last week after Manchester City suffered a 2-1 loss to Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge to surrender their top-flight crown.

Liverpool FC haven’t played since being awarded their first title in 30 years, having won the Premier League with seven games to spare under Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds will have the incentive of winning their first Premier League game as champions against the team that has denied them the crown in 2014 and 2018.

Manchester City will be looking to protect their Premier League record of 100 points, a tally that Liverpool FC could go past given they can still collect a further 21 points this term.

Klopp’s men are currently on 86 points from 31 games after dropping just seven points in the current campaign against Everton, Manchester United and Watford.

Former Reds defender Lawrenson is backing Manchester City and Liverpool FC to share the spoils at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night.

“City have had to watch Liverpool wrap up the title but Pep Guardiola’s side are trying to win every other trophy this season, and they are going well,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“Last season, this fixture was a thriller – with City winning 2-1 and John Stones making a brilliant goal-line clearance to help them secure victory at an electric Etihad Stadium with everyone in the ground knowing the title was on the line.

“This scenario is clearly very different. Both teams will have something to prove, of course, but the main thing driving both of them this time will probably be that they don’t want to lose. Quite often in games like that, nothing really happens.

“There is no way Guardiola will field a weakened team this time, or Klopp for that matter, but I just don’t expect it to be a classic for some reason. It doesn’t help that there won’t be any fans there.”

Liverpool FC were 3-1 winners against Manchester City in the reverse of this fixture earlier this season when Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane got on the score sheet.

Manchester City can still finish the 2019-20 season with silverware after the Citizens were 2-0 winners against Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-final at Str James’ Park.

The Citizens will be without Fernandinho due to suspension following his red card in Manchester City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge last week.

Liverpool FC have two injury concerns in their squad in the shape of former Manchester City midfielder James Milner and Cameroon international Joel Matip.

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