Manchester City-Liverpool Preview
LONDON (SE) – Manchester City will be under pressure to bounce
back from their Champions League disappointment when they travel to
Anfield to play Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
City need just a point for a club record 16-game unbeaten
streak, while victory would make it an astonishing eight successive
Premier League wins. However, Roberto Mancini’s side will still
feel they have a point to prove after the 2-1 defeat in Napoli and
possible Champions League elimination at the group stage. Liverpool
are currently sixth in the table and 12 points behind league
leaders Manchester City, but Mancini is fully aware of the test the
Merseysiders will pose.
“Liverpool will be a very hard game on Sunday. Liverpool are a
strong team,” warned Mancini. “In my opinion I think they have a
team that can win the Premier League.
“The Barclays Premier League is difficult, it is long and hard.
We have played only 12 games. The squads now at Liverpool, Arsenal,
Chelsea are why they can fight for the title.”
Liverpool beat City 3-0 at Anfield last season and are unbeaten
at home against the Manchester club since 2003. Manager Kenny
Dalglish has been in bullish mood ahead of the game and revealed he
is considering starting Andy Carroll after the striker’s brace in
the win last season.
“Andy scored two great goals against them last year but we got
our reward for that and so did Andy,” said Dalglish. “That is not
to say because he scored two last year he will do the same this
year – you are giving yourself a bit of a problem if you think
that’s you finished.
“We will start afresh, Andy included, for the game on Sunday and
if we can repeat the same result everyone will be happy.”
In response to questions over Liverpool’s squad depth, Dalglish
added: “Almost every week we say we are happy with the strength of
the squad and there are many examples of when that is reflected in
the team selection and the results they have got. It is no surprise
to us, so I don’t see why it should be a surprise for anyone else.
We have a strong squad who have been a credit to themselves and the
Steven Gerrard (ankle) is out for Liverpool, while Manchester
City have concerns over Mario Balotelli who is struggling with a
Liverpool’s win over City last season was the last time
Mancini’s side failed to score in a top-flight match – they have
found the back of the net in 18 games since, bagging 52 goals in
Balotelli has scored five in four Premier League starts this
season, while Sergio Aguero has ten in 11 appearances. City haven’t
won at Anfield in the last eight visits, and have picked up three
points just once in the last 12 games against Liverpool. Carroll
has scored four goals in five Premier League appearances against