Manchester City - Liverpool Preview: Mancini's men look to claw back seven-point gap at the top
The hosts fell further behind league leaders Manchester United in midweek and face a Reds side who need a win to boost their hopes of Champions League qualification
By Husmukh Kerai
Zabaleta, Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy
Milner, Silva, Aguero
Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson
Suarez, Gerrard, Sterling
The game is likely to have come too soon for Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (calf), while the same can be said about Micah Richards (knee) who is edging closer to a return.
Brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure remain on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ivory Coast, meaning Roberto Mancini is unlikely to make too many changes.
Phillip Coutinho could feature from the bench on Sunday after completing his switch from Inter whilst Jose Reina (hip) is set to continue in goal after returning against Arsenal in midweek.
Andre Wisdom will probably continue at right-back despite the probable return of Jose Enrique, with Glen Johnson filling in at left-back despite his battles with a hamstring strain.
Martin Kelly (knee) is a long-term absentee, and is only expected back at the end of March.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City have won two and lost just one of their last eight Premier League meetings with Liverpool, with five of those ending in a draw.
City have kept six clean sheets in succession in all competitions for the first time since August 1999.
Mancini's side are five points and 18 goals worse off than they were at this point last season.
- Edin Dzeko is 5/1 to score the first goal in the game with bet365.
- Luis Suarez is integral to Liverpool's goal output - he has 22 in all competitions, and his nearest team-mate is Steven Gerrard with just six.
Liverpool are the most accurate long passers in the Premier League this season (69%).
Steven Gerrard (pictured) is the only midfielder or striker to play every minute of every Premier League game this season.
Liverpool have scored in their last 11 Premier League games, only Man Utd (12) are on a longer current run.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool
- 24.9 %
Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool
- 8.55 %
Manchester City 1-3 Liverpool
- 6.9 %
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Feb 2013||Manchester City 2 - Liverpool 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Aug 2012||Liverpool 2 - Manchester City 2|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||25 Jan 2012||Liverpool 2 - Manchester City 2|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||11 Jan 2012||Manchester City 0 - Liverpool 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Jan 2012||Manchester City 3 - Liverpool 0|
|19 May 2013||Manchester City 2 - Norwich City 3||EPL|
|14 May 2013||Reading 0 - Manchester City 2||EPL|
|11 May 2013||Manchester City 0 - Wigan Athletic 1||FA|
|7 May 2013||Manchester City 1 - West Bromwich Albion 0||EPL|
|4 May 2013||Swansea City 0 - Manchester City 0||EPL|
|25||José Reina Paez||Goalkeeper|