Pellegrini expects attacking game against title rivals Liverpool

Manuel Pellegrini will have Sergio Aguero back in his Manchester City squad fro Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini expects to have to fight fire with fire as his side clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday.

The eagerly-anticipated meeting of the title rivals at Anfield pits the competition’s top two goalscoring teams against each other.

Liverpool have struck 90 goals in their 33 games with third-placed City having notched 84 from their 31.

Some of City’s notable victories have seen them score seven against Norwich, six against Arsenal and 11 across two games against Tottenham.

Last month they put five past Fulham and beat neighbors Manchester United 3-0 before they hit another four when Southampton visited the Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool have hit form since the turn of the year and their current run of nine successive wins has yielded 32 goals.

Asked if he was concerned about the Reds’ attacking threat, Pellegrini said: "It’s exactly the concern Liverpool will have against our team, if they want to be an attacking team – and they are an attacking team.

"But I think we’ve done very well (defensively), Southampton didn’t have many chances to score.

"Of course if you defend with 10 players near your box, you are not going to have space for the other team.

"But the most important thing about these two teams is they play attractive, offensive football. Both teams are very close for this."

Pellegrini feels his side have not received enough credit for their defensive work in recent months.

City have had problems at the back this season but they have conceded only twice in their last seven league matches.


Pellegrini said: "I never divide the team in the way I think. There is a team with 11 players and the 11 players must know how to defend and the 11 players must know how to attack.

"Both teams have scored a lot of goals during the season but if we are with Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table, it is because we also know how to defend."

In attack, City could be boosted by the return of top scorer Sergio Aguero after five games out with a hamstring injury.

Aguero has scored 26 goals this term but none since January and Pellegrini accepts he may not be able to hit the ground running at Anfield.

The Chilean said: "I think for the team, for the player, it is always better not to be injured.

"We manage so all the all the players can get to the end of the season in a good shape, but I think for every player it is not good to stop playing for about two months.

"We must be careful in the way he comes back to the team but I repeat he is a very important player for the team."