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Man City Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Liverpool

7:26 AM GMT 05/10/2018
Benjamin Mendy Man City 12082018
Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Anfield on Sunday

Kevin De Bruyne is nearing a return to full fitness and is even in contention to return to the Manchester City squad for their game against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Belgian has been out of action since the first week of the season with a knee injury.

He returned to training this week and it is understood that he could be part of Pep Guardiola’s match-day squad as soon as this weekend, although he would not be ready to start and a final decision regarding his involvement will be taken nearer the game.

Guardiola's main concern will be who plays left-back.


While De Bruyne is almost ready to return, there are doubts around Benjamin Mendy.

Guardiola has been evasive whenever asked about the Frenchman's recovery timescale and he has been out for a month now with a bruised metatarsal.

Fabian Delph, Mendy's most dependable deputy, has been ruled out of the game.

Ilkay Gundogan limped out of Tuesday's Champions League win at Hoffenheim, although he was in line to be substituted anyway.

Claudio Bravo is out until next year with an Achilles injury.


Neither side have any suspensions.


Much depends on Mendy's availability. If the 24-year-old plays it would provide Guardiola with a wealth of options; so far this season the City boss has been more creative with his tactics when Mendy is playing. City tried completely different formations for games against Arsenal, Huddersfield and Newcastle, and given the Sky Blues' poor record at Anfield and their particular struggles there last season, Guardiola could be tempted to try something radical.

Without Mendy, however, it will most likely be a 4-3-3. Aymeric Laporte played at left-back at Hoffenheim in midweek but looked much shakier than he has done at centre-back this season. He played at left-back at Anfield in the Champions League and did not fare much better, so it will be interesting to see whether Guardiola keeps faith with him.

If not, it would be either Danilo, who has been largely underwhelming when played out of position and who has only played against Oxford in the Carabao Cup, or Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has generally been kept for games where he will not be required to do too much defending, and often at home.

Elsewhere, it is just as difficult to predict. Guardiola has four very good centre-backs and has regularly chopped and changed, with Laporte the only ever-present in the league. Any of the four would be perfectly good options for the vast majority of City's fixtures but none particularly covered themselves in glory at Anfield last season, and John Stones has not been played in defence in the league in over a month.

It is also tempting to suggest Guardiola will try to get an extra midfielder in his team in a bid for more passes and more control. He tried it at Anfield last season, with Ilkay Gundogan coming in for Raheem Sterling, although that plan back-fired.

If he were to try something similar on Sunday it could see Bernardo Silva deployed on the right but charged with coming inside, although if Gundogan is injured that would limit the options available to partner David Silva.

Up front, it could be just as tricky to predict. In recent weeks Sergio Aguero has re-established himself as first-choice for the first time since Gabriel Jesus arrived 18 months ago, but while Jesus has been in poor form so far this season his high-pressing could be of particular value. If Mendy is fit, Guardiola could play both strikers, but without Mendy, that is very unlikely.

Potential XI without Mendy:

Potential XI with Mendy:


Naby Keita was stretchered off during Liverpool's Champions League defeat to Napoli on Wednesday but he has been given the all clear and will be in contention to face City.

Jurgen Klopp does not have any other major concerns ahead of the game, with Adam Lallana lacking match fitness.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored twice against City in two games at Anfield last season, is a long-term absentee.


  • Liverpool are unbeaten in 17 home matches against Man City in all competitions (W12 D5) since losing 2-1 at Anfield in the Premier League in May 2003.
  • Man City have lost three matches against Liverpool in 2018, losing in the Premier League in January and two Champions League matches in April. They’ve only lost four matches in one calendar year against an opponent twice before, doing so against Grimsby Town in 1936 and Spurs in 1993.
  • Both Liverpool and Man City are unbeaten in their opening seven Premier League games this season – this is the latest meeting between two unbeaten sides in the competition since 2011-12 when Man City and Newcastle met in their 12th game of the season.
  • Manchester City have lost only one of their last 25 Premier League away matches (W20 D4), though it was in this exact fixture last season (3-4).
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 24 home league games, the longest current run in the Premier League (W16 D8).
  • Man City striker Sergio Aguero has played nine matches in all competitions at Anfield in his career (seven with Man City, two with Atletico Madrid), failing to score in any of those games, attempting just 11 shots and three on target.


Kick off is 16:30 GMT (11:30 ET) on Sunday, and will be shown on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. It will be shown on NBC in the United States, and on various channels around the world.