MANCHESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL PREVIEW
All the teams in the Premier League have played 12 games each in the 2015/16 campaign and with 27 points and an impressive +17-goal difference figure, Manchester City currently sit on the top of the league table. The league leaders are scheduled to welcome Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool squad tomorrow, with their manager Manuel Pellegrini aware that dropping points tomorrow could potentially mean City losing their current position as league leaders.
City team strong but not invincible
Until Gameweek 5 in the current season, it appeared that Manchester City would easily become the winners of the 2015/16 English Premier League with Pellegrini’s team not dropping a single point and goalie Joe Hart keeping consecutive clean sheets. However, when West Ham defeated City on their own ground in Gameweek 6, City’s weakness against strong attacking lineups became visible. Their defeat away at Tottenham in the following week highlighted these vulnerabilities further. Since then, although City have remained undefeated, they have drawn two games away against local rivals Manchester United and Aston Villa in the campaign. Yet, it also must not be forgotten that Manchester City have the strongest home record so far in the league, winning 5 out of 6 games at the Etihad, and with the presence of the likes of Aleksander Kolarov and Bacary Sagna at their defense, getting goals certainly won’t be easy for Liverpool’s forwards and midfielders. However, City’s defense could be weakened by the absence of skipper Vincent Kompany and Benteke could take full advantage of the situation.
Careful and balanced approach required
Oppositions like Manchester City have the ability to exploit the slightest of errors in opposition defenses and Klopp is certainly aware about that. Thus, Liverpool’s defenders will probably need to give their best efforts tomorrow. With City’s star striker Sergio Aguero set to make a comeback after a spell on the sidelines, they will pose a bigger threat at the front compared to their last 4 PL games and the odds of Liverpool goalie Simon Mignolet earning a clean sheet at the Etihad Stadium is probably very low. However, City will also have a hard time containing the creative attacking abilities of Firmino and Coutinho and with Daniel Sturridge set to return on the bench, Liverpool will also have better attacking options than their last few games.
The game will also mark the first time that acting Liverpool skipper James Milner will play against his former club since leaving the club, while Raheem Sterling is also expected to feature against the Reds for the first time, although Pellegrini hasn’t confirmed whether he will be starting or will be used as a sub. However, with Nasri and Silva out with injury, Sterling could indeed play the entire match against his old club.
Last 10 Games Head to Head
Manchester City are certainly the more successful team compared to Liverpool in the recent seasons judging by the number of silverwares they have won. Yet, Liverpool have consistently proven to be tough competitors for them. Both the teams have won three games each while points have been shared on four occasions and none of those games have ended goalless. All of City’s victories against liverpool in the last 10 fixtures have come at the Etihad.
Liverpool Possible Starting XI
Clyne – Skrtel – Lovren – Moreno
Milner – Lucas – Can
Coutinho – Firmino