Liverpool and Man City are gearing up for another clash, set to kick off at 12.30pm (UK time) on Saturday. This isn’t due to TV companies this time around. Since Jurgen Klopp took charge, Liverpool have played at this early time 39 times, winning just two of their last eight games at this hour. Normally, TV decides the timings, but this time, Sky Sports wished for a 5.30pm game. Unfortunately, the ‘local safety advisory group,’ including the police, didn’t allow it for safety reasons.
Usually, TNT Sports shows the Saturday 12.30pm games, but this time Sky Sports will air Liverpool vs. Man City because of scheduling reasons—Man City plays on Tuesday against RB Leipzig and Sky owns the rights for their match. So, Arsenal vs. Brentford will now air at 5.30pm on TNT Sports, swapping slots but staying on the same channel.
Liverpool’s previous struggles with kick-off times
The local safety group’s decision comes after past incidents at Liverpool vs. Man City games. For example, last year, a 15-year-old girl got hurt by a thrown bottle from the Liverpool section. Police hope an earlier kickoff could prevent such incidents.
Liverpool has more key players away on international duty than Man City. Some Man City players have returned injured from the International break. Therefore, the early kickoff might favor Liverpool this time.
On the field, this match is huge. A win for Klopp’s team could put them at the top, overtaking Guardiola’s side. But a loss might drop them outside the top four by the weekend’s end. Last season, Liverpool struggled in six 12.30pm games, not winning any and only getting three points out of 18.
It’s a critical match, not just for the top spot but also for Liverpool’s chance to stay in the top four. The early kickoff could play a role, but the real action will unfold on the pitch when these two giants clash.