A frustrating night at the Emirates on Wednesday saw Liverpool FC let a two goal lead slip against Arsenal and the Reds will hope for better luck when they travel to Manchester to take on the defending Premier League champions, Manchester City. Pepe Reina, Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson all featured in Wednesday’s name and the trio are likely to start on Sunday.
However, new signing Philippe Coutinho will not feature as he is not due to report to Melwood until Monday or Tuesday.
Manchester City were also disappointed in midweek as they could only manage a 0-0 draw away to bottom of the table QPR – a result which left them seven points behind league leaders Manchester United. The Citizens go into Sunday’s game needing a win if they are to sustain their title challenge. They will be without captain Vincent Kompany, who is injured, but Matija Nastasic is hoping to start after recovering from a knee problem.
Liverpool’s recent record against Man City is strong – they have only lost two of their last 17 league and cup games against the Sky Blues – but they haven’t scored in their last three league matches at the Etihad. City have not conceded a goal in their last four league fixtures, but with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge proving to be a lethal combination the Reds will be optimistic of preventing the Premier League Champions from getting a fifth consecutive clean sheet.
In the five games since his arrival from Chelsea, Sturridge has netted three times, while Suarez has added four goals to his tally. In Liverpool’s pre-match press conference, assistant manager Colin Pascoe spoke highly of the pair, while also reserving special praise for midfielder Jordan Henderson, who has scored consecutive goals in Liverpool’s last two league matches.
Though City sold Mario Balotelli to AC Milan on transfer deadline day, the Sky Blues have a clinical striking duo of their own in Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez. The Argentine pair have scored 15 league goals between them, while Tevez has also provided 13 assists – more than any other player in the league. Liverpool will also have to be wary of Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, who is City’s top scorer with 11 goals in all competitions.
Liverpool have yet to register a win against a side in the top half of the table this season and a win at the Etihad Stadium would be a superb way to put that record to rest. However given that City have lost only twice in 30 league games, it will be a big ask.