Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Liverpool
Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, November 21 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Man City 8/13 – Draw 3/1 – Liverpool 9/2
Both clubs have had two weeks to prepare for this game as a result of the international break. City could only draw 0-0 at Aston Villa a fortnight ago, while Liverpool suffered their first loss under Jurgen Klopp in a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace.
The Citizens still sit at the top of the Premier League after 12 games but are only ahead of Arsenal on goal difference and may need to win on Saturday just to stay level with the Gunners.
There’s no doubt there’s mounting pressure on Manchester City to start winning more regularly after just three league wins in their last seven.
Manchester City’s Premier League record: P12 – W8 – D2 – L2
With injury problems still affecting the starting lineup on a weekly basis, Manuel Pellegrini will hope his side can show enough to beat Liverpool, with or without stars such as Sergio Aguero and David Silva.
The Reds travel to the Etihad after winning just one of their last five. They lost for the third time this term against Palace two weeks ago and face a tough task in trying to respond with a win now.
Klopp is still trying to get his playing style embedded into the Liverpool players but his demands for high work rates have left some players struggling to perform for 90 minutes.
Liverpool’s Premier League record: P12 – W4 – D5 – L3
They’ve conceded in the final ten minutes in two of their last three and need to hope the two-week international break means they will be firing on all cylinders on Saturday.
They beat Chelsea 3-1 in their last away game and will now look to record a first league win at City since 2008.
Manchester City have doubts hanging over as many as seven players ahead of Saturday evening’s clash. David Silva and Sergio Aguero are close to returning but are unlikely to be ready for this match. While, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony are all doubts too and might miss out.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp now has six injuries to deal with as Mamadou Sakho has joined Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Jordan Rossiter and Jon Flanagan on the sidelines. James Milner has recovered from a knock and should start against his former club, while Christian Benteke should be handed the lone striking role.
Manchester City’s last five: W/W/D/W/D
Liverpool’s last five: D/D/D/W/L
Key Stat: Both teams have scored at least one goal in each of the last seven meetings between these two in all competitions.
Key Player: Raheem Sterling – The young England star will line up against Liverpool for the first time since leaving for City in the summer and plenty of pressure will be on him to deliver. His pace could hurt the Reds, especially if played as the lone striker.
Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool – A lot will depend on how many of City’s doubtful starts will make the game. If Kompany, Aguero and Silva are all missing from the starting lineup it’s tough to see the hosts winning. Both sides have been drawing too many games of late and they might have to both settle for a point on Saturday too.