Manchester City will be looking to make amends for the slip-up at Villa Park ahead of the international break and prove they should still be regarded the main candidates for the Premier League title. Meanwhile, the Reds ended the bright run of results as they were beaten at home by Crystal Palace, and they, too, will have a lot to prove at the Etihad.
Manchester City had only just recovered from a disappointing run of three defeats in four games, when key men Sergio Aguero and David Silva picked up serious injuries, meaning some other players had to step up and ensure the team remained on the right track. The likes of Bony, Sterling and De Bruyne did well to help compensate for the absence of two very important footballers, with the Citizens securing their place in the Champions League knockout stages, while also warding off challenge from Arsenal in the Premier League. The aforementioned goalless draw with Aston Villa did not prove too costly as the Gunners also slipped up, but it is imperative that Manuel Pellegrini’s charges return to winning ways as quickly as possible. The good news is that Sergio Aguero looks set to return into action after recovering from injury, but it remains to be seen whether the manager will risk placing him in the starting line-up. The likes of Raheem Sterling and James Milner will get the opportunity to face their former teammates for the first time since leaving their respective clubs despite missing the England friendlies during international break. Samir Nasri, Vincent Kompany and Wilfried Bony continue to miss out, but Pablo Zabaleta and Fabian Delph should be fit to play.
Jurgen Klopp needed four games to record his first win in the Liverpool dugout, but it was his side’s impressive display in the 3-1 away triumph over Chelsea that hinted the Reds could reach unimagined heights under the German’s guidance. The team then went on to defeat Rubin Kazan in Tatarstan to make it three wins in a row, but injury-plagued Liverpool failed to keep the spirits high ahead of the international break, suffering a somewhat undeserved home loss to Crystal Palace. It’s now back to the drawing board for Jurgen Klopp, who needs to ensure the Reds remain close to top 4 positions, and given the seven-point gap behind fourth-placed Manchester United, the Anfield outfit could be in problems unless they win at Etihad. That is definitely easier said than done, especially given the club’s injury crisis. There have been some good news for the coaching staff though considering that both James Milner and Daniel Sturridge are back in contention, but it remains to be seen whether the England striker will slot straight into the starting line-up. Liverpool have so far lost just one of eight away games, suffering a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford and they will be hoping to fare much better on their second visit to neighbouring Manchester.
Both teams head into the clash missing some important players, but with Sergio Aguero still not fully fit, it would appear as though the hosts could find it harder to cope. That should balance things nicely between the two teams and we do expect to see Manchester City and Liverpool cancel each other out.
Best Odds: 3/1