Manchester City vs Liverpool could produce fireworks, says Phil Thompson
Last Updated: 02/01/19 4:46pm
Manchester City's game against Premier League leaders Liverpool on Thursday night should be one to savour, Phil Thompson believes.
The first match between the title rivals this season was a slightly underwhelming 0-0 draw, but Thompson thinks current circumstances make a repeat unlikely.
Liverpool are seven points clear of City after the defending champions stumbled over the festive period - and the build-up has been marked by respective managers Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp claiming the other team is the 'best in the world'.
Thompson told Sky Sports: "We have got two of the best teams in the world, and let's just hope both sides produce that game.
"The game at Anfield wasn't that way - City actually set up a little bit different, to make sure they were not too open.
"Can Liverpool change the way they play? I doubt it very much. I think there is only one way [they can play], and that is on the front foot.
"So, it is intriguing and the build-up makes it so exciting.
"We are all waiting for this game and let's hope it does produce the fireworks we all hope."
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has issued a rallying cry ahead of the match and Thompson thinks his former team have to be ready for their biggest test yet.
"I have never heard the City players like this...Kompany at the weekend," he said. "That shows how much it means to them.
"The first 20 minutes will be crucial for Liverpool.
"In the last four or five weeks, we have seen this team start to perform the way they did last season, quick-fire 15-20 minutes, where they blow teams away - but I'm not sure you can do that to Manchester City."
A win for Liverpool would take them 10 clear of City and nine clear of Tottenham, who went second with a win at Cardiff on Tuesday.
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But Thompson warned: "You might think that would put Liverpool in an unassailable position, but football is not like that.
"Once you get too comfortable and start thinking in terms like that, you get a slap on the face.
"This Liverpool team has to concentrate and, if it is four points (after a defeat), then they have to respond."
Such considerations will be for after the match though - in the meantime, football fans await a potential Premier League classic.
Thompson added: "The great thing about this match coming up, both sides are so blessed with great players.
"Everybody - not just Liverpool and Manchester City fans - is looking forward to this game."