To be played on Sunday 13th April 2014 at 13:37. Venue: Anfield, Liverpool.
Odds: Liverpool 7/5, Draw 13/5, Manchester City 2/1
Last season: 2-2
Preview & injury news
This is being billed as a potential title decider because whoever wins here will have the title in their hands. Liverpool are the Premier League's form side having won each of their last nine games which sees them four points clear of Manchester City going into this game, and two points clear of Chelsea. City have played two games fewer than the Reds so a win for Liverpool would make them favourites to win the league. City are unbeaten in their last seven league games, winning five of them, and head to Anfield looking for their first win there since 2003. A draw would favour the visitors more than the hosts, but the real winners from this weekend as a result could be Chelsea, who play away to Swansea City.
On the injury front, Jose Enrique is sidelined for the rest of the season with a knee injury but the Reds are boosted by the return of vice-captain Daniel Agger, who missed last week's win over West Ham with a knee injury. That could give Brendan Rodgers a selection dilemma as Mamadou Sakho put in a very good performance last week and it would be seen as harsh to drop him.
For City, they are likely to welcome back Sergio Aguero into the side after a hamstring problem - which the club have been cautious with so he's available for this clash. Yaya Toure picked up a knock against Southampton but he should have no problem being fit for this encounter. Matija Nastasic is still struggling with a knee problem and is likely to miss out.
Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League so far this season:
|Yaya Touré||Man City||MF||18||30||2,600|
|Sergio Agüero||Man City||FW||15||17||1,199|
|Edin Dzeko||Man City||FW||11||24||1,480|
Their average possession statistics:
And the amount of clean sheets they have kept this season:
5 players to watch
Daniel Sturridge - Sturridge faces up against one of his former clubs this weekend but hasn't scored in his last two games. The bad news for City is that he hasn't gone three games on the bounce without scoring since moving to Merseyside, and he scored on his last appearance against them. Can Sturridge come up with the goods?
Sergio Aguero - City have taken a lot of time to make sure Aguero returns fully fit having been sidelined with a hamstring injury for the best part of two months. His form prior to his injury was terrific and if he hits the ground running he could hurt Liverpool. Will his return be at the ideal time for the visitors?
Steven Gerrard - Gerrard has been excellent form in the holding midfield role in recent weeks, and his cool head from the penalty spot has been a big factor for the Reds as well as his passing range. Also if Gerrard manages to get through this game without picking up a yellow card, then he will have escaped the two game ban that has been hanging over him for the best part of a month.
Vincent Kompany - Liverpool's front two are likely to target Martin Demichelis which means that centre-back partner Kompany is also going to be in for a very busy afternoon. Also, the Belgian is a big threat from set-pieces and got a goal against the Reds in December, so it'll be interesting to watch him at both ends of the field.
Mamadou Sakho - Sakho came in for the injured Daniel Agger last weekend and put in a terrific display, you certainly wouldn't have thought that he hadn't started a game since December. Agger may come in but it would be a harsh decision to drop the Frenchman, and he would relish any battle with the City forwards, and could really unsettle the opposition.
Earlier on in the season
Manchester City 2-1 Liverpool, December 2013
It was a breathtaking game of football that had its fair share of controversy as Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wasn't happy after the final whistle. Jesus Navas hit the post early on for the home side as both sides had chances and Raheem Sterling was ruled offside, when replays showed he was onside when clean through on goal. But Liverpool took the lead midway through the first half through Philippe Coutinho after good work from Sterling and Luis Suarez allowed the Brazilian to pass home into an empty net. City equalised seven minutes later when Vincent Kompany headed in from David Silva's corner, and Alvaro Negredo put the home side in front on the stroke of half time when Mignolet ought to have saved. Joe Hart made a couple of top class saves for City whilst Sterling could have brought the visitors level from close range. Liverpool thought they should have had a penalty late on when Joleon Lescott appeared to tug Suarez's shirt, only for referee Lee Mason to wave the appeal away.