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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Liverpool VS Manchester City Match Preview

As if a meeting with the Premier League leaders was not difficult enough, Liverpool will be aware that a Manchester City backlash could be on the cards this weekend.

The Reds will head into Sunday's game in positive mood, with a seven-match unbeaten run keeping them within touching distance of the top four.

They will also be fresh, with no European action at Anfield this season meaning there can be no excuses when the Premier League takes centre stage.

Kenny Dalglish has already seen his side overcome Arsenal and Chelsea this term, while only a late equaliser allowed Manchester United to leave Merseyside with something to show for their efforts.

Liverpool can also boast an impressive record against City in recent times, with six wins and two draws taken from their last eight meetings at Anfield.

In fact, the Reds have lost only one of their last 12 top-flight matches against their North West rivals.
Dalglish's men came out on top the last time the two sides locked horns, with Andy Carroll netting twice in a 3-0 victory back in April.

That match represents the last time City failed to score in the league, with 52 goals plundered in 18 games since.

Liverpool are also the last side to score more than two goals against the Blues, with Roberto Mancini's side having shipped just 14 since their forgettable visit to Anfield.

Such fine form has City sat proudly atop of the Premier League table, with 11 victories taken from their opening 12 fixtures this term.

It is, however, abroad that the Blues have struggled, with Mancini's men in danger of slipping out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stage.

A 2-1 reversal against Napoli on Tuesday has left their European fate hanging in the balance, with favours now required from elsewhere.

A disappointing showing on Italian soil will have been put to the back of their minds, though, by the time they take to the field on Sunday, with City looking to respond positively to a rare setback.

It could be quite some afternoon on Merseyside, with both sides boasting frontmen in imperious form.
Luis Suarez continues to go from strength to strength for Liverpool, while Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli have been regular sources of goals for City.

Team news

Dalglish is likely to keep changes to a minimum as Liverpool attempt to bring some stability to their season.
Defender Jamie Carragher, who returned to the squad for last week's win at Chelsea but could only make the bench, may have to settle for a place among the substitutes again.

Winger Stewart Downing will be pushing for a recall having been dropped last week after starting the first 11 league matches but captain Steven Gerrard is still not fit to return from an ankle infection.
Manchester City have no fresh injury or suspension concerns to contend with, with Balotelli having recovered from a fever, but Mancini is likely to shuffle his pack.

Gareth Barry and Samir Nasri will be pushing for a recall after being left on the bench on Tuesday.
Aguero will also be hoping to start, with a cameo appearance in Naples suggesting he is over a slight knock and ready to lead the line.

Micah Richards will be another hoping to get the nod against the Reds after being omitted from Mancini's midweek European plans.

Facts & Match Preview.

Last season Liverpool 3 Man City 0
Referee Martin Atkinson
This season's matches 9 Y30, R4, 3.78 cards per game
Odds Liverpool 9-5 Man City 13-8 Draw 12-5

Liverpool v Manchester City  
Liverpool v Manchester City: Probable starters.

Liverpool

Subs from Doni, Aurélio, Carroll, Wilson, Downing, Coates, Henderson, Spearing, Sterling, Kelly, Coady, Carragher, Flanagan
Doubtful None
Injured Gerrard (ankle, unknown)
Suspended None
Form guide WDWDDW
Disciplinary record Y20 R2
Leading scorer Suárez 4

Manchester City

Subs from Pantilimon, Taylor, Zabaleta, Milner, Johnson, Kolarov, Savic, Onuoha, K Touré, De Jong, Balotelli, Rekik, Veseli
Doubtful None
Injured Hargreaves (hamstring, 12 Dec)
Suspended None
Form guide WWWWWW
Disciplinary record Y14 R1
Leading scorers Agüero, Dzeko 10

Match pointers

• City have won only one of their last 12 Premier League matches against Liverpool

• Liverpool were the last side to keep a Premier League clean sheet against City (in April) and Saturday's visitors have scored 52 times in 18 subsequent games

• Stuart Taylor will be 31 on Monday – he has made only 30 Premier League appearances in his career since he started at Arsenal in 1997

• If selected, Glen Johnson will be making his 200th Premier League appearance

• Both these sides have hit the woodwork eight times, the joint-most in the division

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