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Premier League

  • December 26, 2013
  • • 12:30 PM
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: L. Mason
  • • Attendance: 47351

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Liverpool

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Liverpool

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Brendan Rodgers' Reds are top of the tree at Christmas but face a free-scoring home side which has found the back of the net 13 times in the last three games on Boxing Day.

The Premier League's two most potent attacks go head-to-head when Manchester City host Liverpool on Thursday.

Third-placed City has scored an incredible 51 goals in its 17 top flight fixtures this season - nine more than the table-topping Reds have notched in the same number of games.

Manuel Pellegrini's side has been particularly prolific at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 35 while conceding just five to take maximum points from its seven matches on home turf this season.

It has lost just two of its last 56 Premier League games at home and beat Arsenal - which sits second after its 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Monday - 6-3 in its last outing at the Etihad.

City followed that win up with a 4-2 victory at Fulham last Saturday but free-scoring Liverpool will take heart from the fact Pellegrini's team have conceded nine goals in its last four league matches.

Brendan Rodgers' men have responded brilliantly to their 3-1 reverse at Hull City on December 1, winning four games in a row and scoring 17 goals in the process.

Luis Suarez's scintillating form has been the driving force behind Liverpool's run, with the Uruguayan notching 10 goals since the loss at the KC Stadium to take his Premier League tally to 19 in just 12 appearances this season.

That total puts Suarez six goals clear of City's Argentine striker, Sergio Aguero, in the race for the golden boot and he has the opportunity to extend that lead further on Thursday as his South American counterpart is sidelined with a calf problem.

Aguero's compatriot, Pablo Zabaleta, could also be missing after suffering a hamstring injury in City's Capital One Cup win over Leicester City, while Micah Richards (hamstring), Matija Nastasic (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (knock) are also doubtful.

The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-2 draw, although both of Liverpool's goalscorers on that occasion - Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard - will miss Thursday's clash with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.

Defenders Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates (both knee) remain long-term absentees for Rodgers.

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