Next Man City match comes after Liverpool plays again as Pep Guardiola games in hand squeezed in

Pep Guardiola of Manchester City is attending the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on April 20, 2024.
Pep Guardiola has a testing Man City schedule on the horizon, and Liverpool can pile on the pressure. -Credit:MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Liverpool is back in action tomorrow, with a huge game away at Everton. And if hindsight made many question Jürgen Klopp's selection against Atalanta, his eyebrow-raising decisions for the Fulham match now look spot on, with a number of key stars having been afforded something of a break.

There are nonetheless some tough selection dilemmas for Klopp to resolve. After all, that changed side against Fulham put in the best performance in weeks, with Marco Silva highlighting how the altered front line was more imposing off the ball. But you'd still expect the likes of Mohamed Salah to return to the line-up, now with a point to prove.

Rotation in one form or another has been effectively forced on Liverpool, with this game coming amid an intense run even by Premier League standards. The Reds travelled to Italy last Thursday, and will have played two league matches before even a week has passed, before going down to London for a Saturday lunchtime kick-off against West Ham (the Rúben Amorim derby?).

READ MORE: Liverpool injury latest and possible return dates before Everton as ace 'continues rehab abroad'

READ MORE: Rúben Amorim flies home as Liverpool 'negotiating' after 'not positive' West Ham talks

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola called out the schedule recently, complaining that the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday came too hot on the heels of Wednesday night Champions League action. His side went the distance against Real Madrid before losing on penalties.

Of course, Liverpool's upcoming Wednesday/Saturday fixture turnover is even worse, given that Klopp is being handed the dreaded 12:30 slot for the weekend game. But Guardiola was right to complain, especially as Manchester City and Chelsea could just as easily have contested the FA Cup match on Sunday, with Coventry and Manchester United swapping to the Saturday.

In any case, Manchester City's FA Cup involvement has set it back a game on its rivals. Arsenal and Liverpool both won in the meantime, leapfrogging Guardiola's side, and a twist of the schedule means both will also play again before the champions are next in action.

Arsenal is up first tonight, and can cement its advantage at the top of the table with a win over Chelsea. After that, Liverpool will also have the chance to go four points clear of Manchester City if it can win the Merseyside derby.

Manchester City is finally back in league action on Thursday, when it travels to Brighton. That's a potentially difficult fixture, not least if both of its rivals have further piled on the pressure.

And it will be some time before Manchester City makes up its second game in hand. The fixture scheduling has been made a little easier by virtue of Guardiola's European exit, but the extra fixture still won't be permanently made up until the penultimate game of the Premier League season.

Ahead of hosting West Ham on the final day (Liverpool once again has Wolves), Manchester City faces a Tuesday night trip to Spurs. Provided the Reds and Arsenal have not slipped up in that time, Guardiola will definitely go into that fixture in third place, setting up a hugely dramatic end to the season.

Manchester City will also have briefly played the same amount of games as Liverpool once it plays Wolves on May 4. Klopp's side are not in action until the following day, when it faces Tottenham. Guardiola's men also play first the following weekend. says: Klopp played down the concept of 'scoreboard pressure' after the Fulham win. But Manchester City won't love the fact that its second game in hand is not made up until so late in the season, especially with it being a potentially tricky fixture.

It only takes on relevance if Liverpool can keep up the pressure, though. That starts with a huge game against Everton.