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Man City v Liverpool Preview (video)

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Liverpool go into Monday night’s game full of confidence with Joe Cole the only definite absente from the squad. Manchester City will be out to prove the doubters wrong and begin to fulfill their potential. James Milner and Adam Johnson could be in the starting XI.

Liverpool will not be afraid of coming to City after watching them struggle in the first half at White Hart Lane, that’s certainly all the noises coming from LFC.

Ian Rush speaking to the official Liverpool site has not been impressed with City’s last two performances and believes that Liverpool will leave with all three points:

"I watched City's first game against Tottenham last week and Spurs could have been at least 3-0 up at half-time, but they came back into the game in the second half.

"I'm sure Mancini will be telling his team they have to start well against Liverpool with it being their first home game, but I just think this is a good time for us to play Manchester City.

"I can see them being hit and miss this season and after watching the Arsenal game we seemed well organised and we always seem to do well away at City.”

With all of the criticism aimed at City in the Sunday Rags today the City boys have all the incentive they need to go out and win this match. The only way to answer the critics and haters is by winning matches and getting a top 4 finish this season.

With draws home and away last season Mancini is ready for a battle when the sides meet: “Liverpool are a strong team. They did not sell any players from last season. We want to win, but I have a lot of respect for them and a lot of respect for Roy Hodgson. It should be a good match.”

Roy Hodgson in his pre-match conference (see video below) said that City should be expecting a top 3 finish, but that the pressure is on the home side and fellow ex-Inter manager Mancini after the backing he has received from the club owners.

Roy Hodgson Man City Conference

Manchester City Team News:

Boateng (knee) and Kolarov (ankle) are not expected to be fit until the 29th August and will not feature, neither will Wayne Bridge (foot) who is out until mid September.

Mario Balotelli has a slight knee injury, he is confident of being ready for the game; "It wasn't the result of a tackle, nobody touched me, I simply over-extended the knee. It's a bit of a problem, but I'm sure it will go away fast and that I will be available against Liverpool."

However pictures taken of Balotelli limping out of Bridgewater Hospital after a scan do not look promising and he may not make the squad. It would be dangerous to risk him.

James Milner looks certain to start after his impressive display for Villa last week. His work rate will be crucial to fill the void between City’s defensive midfielders and the attack.

Adam Johnson impressed in midweek and could be restored to the starting line-up.
Possible Starting: Hart, Lescott, Kompany, K Toure, M Richards, Y Toure, De Jong, Milner, Johnson, Tevez, Silva

Liverpool Team News:

Liverpool will be without Joe Cole who starts a three match suspension. Daniel Agger suffered concussion during the Arsenal game and is a major doubt. Stephen Gerrard will return to the team after he was rested for the midweek Europa tie. Mascherano could also be in contention after recovering from a calf injury.

Gerrard is likely to have a more attacking midfield role this time out, with Poulsen likely to make his debut with Mascherano in the centre of midfield.

Possible Starting: Reina, Aurelio, Carragher, Skrtel, Johnson, Poulsen, Mascherano, Kuyt, Jovanovic, Gerrard, Torres

Match Facts:

Last Season: Man City 0 Liverpool 0
Referee: P Dowd
KO: 8pm (Live on Sky)

Five of the last seven league meetings between these teams have ended in draws

Manchester City have not won at home to Liverpool since April 2005 when a last minute goal from Kiki Musampa secured a 1-0 victory

Liverpool's only win in their last nine away Premier League games was a 4-0 victory over Burnley in April

Joe Hart was the busiest goalkeeper in the top flight last week, making a save every 11.3 minutes on average


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