Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs Manchester City
Venue: Anfield – Sunday, March 1st – 12:00 GMT (07:00 ET)
Match Odds: Liverpool 15/8 – Draw 5/2 – Man City 11/8
Liverpool come in to this game as the form side in the Premier League and they have managed to propel themselves to within just two points of the all important top-four places as they continue their fight to qualify for Champions league football.
Man City are desperate for points as they look to close the gap on league leaders Chelsea in an attempt to retain their Premier League title. A win for City would leave them just two points off the top with Chelsea in League Cup final action against Tottenham this weekend.
Brendan Rodgers saw his Liverpool side suffer defeat over the course of 90 minutes for the first time in 18 games in all competitions when they lost 1-0 to Turkish side Besiktas before being knocked out on penalties in their Europa League last-32 second-leg tie in Istanbul on Thursday night.
However, the Reds are on a 10-game unbeaten run in the Premier League (W7, D3), they’re the only team that haven’t lost in 2015 and they’ve kept five clean sheets in their last six games.
Visitors Manchester City also suffered a midweek defeat as Barcelona beat them 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 knockout round on Tuesday.
Although Manuel Pellegrini and his players look to have come out the other side of a sticky spell in the Premier League after comprehensive 4-1 and 5-0 wins over Stoke and Newcastle respectively. Before those two victories, City had recorded just one win in six games (D4, L1).
Goals from Stevan Jovetic and Sergio Aguero helped Manchester City beat Liverpool 3-1 in the reverse fixture back in August but memories of Liverpool’s 3-2 win over City at Anfield last year will still be fresh in the mind of both sides.
It’s a crucial fixture for each of these teams and they will both be absolutely desperate to pick up all three points, which could make for a potential Premier League classic.
Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho is expected to return to the starting line-up after being rested against Besiktas. Glen Johnson (illness), Mamadou Sakho (injury) and Lazar Markovic (suspension) are all available once again. Jordan Henderson will face a late decision over an ankle injury and skipper Steven Gerrard could return to the squad. Lucas Leiva, Jon Flanagan and Brad Jones are all still out injured.
Manchester City face no injury or suspension problems, but they will be delighted to welcome Yaya Toure back to the side after he missed the midweek defeat to Barcelona through suspension.
Liverpool’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/D/W/W
Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/D/W/W
Key Stat: Manchester City haven’t won at Anfield on their last 12 visits. They have also recorded just one win on Merseyside against Liverpool in their previous 26 attempts.
Key Player: Yaya Toure – It’s hard to look past Toure as the key player. He’s so influential to this City side and it’s no coincidence that they seem to have found their form now he’s returned from the African Cup of Nations.
Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City – This is a battle of two excellent sides and we can expect an entertaining affair. We should see goals at both ends and a draw seems the most likely result with so much at stake.