Predicted Manchester City XI to play Liverpool - Clichy to continue at right-back

Match to be played on Thursday 26th December 2013 at 17:30. Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Manchester City have a chance to throw down a real marker of intent when they take on Liverpool this Thursday.

City have been building some momentum, which was carried on in their weekend win against Fulham and three points at home will put them in a great position as they look to wrestle back the Premier League title.

Despite the fact key players are missing, this is the potentially very strong side that Manuel Pellegrini could field for the game.

GK – Joe Hart

Hart is back in the starting line-up and he should be very confident. His ability to make saves from different positions all over his own penalty area isn’t something which needs to be sold.

RB – Gael Clichy

The former Arsenal man is likely to continue on the right side of defence in the absence of Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards. It’s not ideal but he has the quality to cope.

CB – Vincent Kompany

This is a huge test for the City captain up against the best striker in the Premier League at the moment. Kompany will also be very determined to make up for his own goal against Fulham.

CB – Martin Demichelis

He seems to be getting better with the more Premier League football that he plays. He allows Kompany to step out of the back four to try and intercept the ball early, which also allows City to play a higher line.

LB – Aleksandar Kolarov

One of the best left-backs in the Premier League. He’s confident going forward and also playing defensively. He’ll be a vital source of width when City get forward and can build some pressure.

RM – Sami Nasri

The Frenchman offers great control of the ball and while he’s not the best wide man, he can split a defence in a second. It will be interesting to see whether Pellegrini encourages him to stay wider.

CM – Yaya Toure

Toure is arguably the best box-to-box midfielder in the Premier League at the moment. He switches between defensive and attacking roles effortlessly and is very difficult to pick up.

CM – Fernandinho

Fernandinho is the perfect partner for Toure because he’s similar in so many ways. He switches between roles equally well and seems to be growing in confidence at the moment.

LM – David Silva

Similarly to Nasri, he offers great control of the ball. He is not a left winger but he holds possession well out on the left and moves inside when he’s given the opportunity and space to do so.

ST – Edin Dzeko

Dzeko is being linked with several moves away from the club this winter. A good performance here and a goal could give him the opportunity to express his commitment to the Manchester City cause.

ST – Alvaro Negredo

Negredo will play at the very top of the attack. He’ll press the defence and try to pin the centre backs inside their own final third, which will create space for Dzeko and the midfielders to play in.

images: © Ben Sutherland, © geetarchurchy

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