Manchester City – Liverpool Preview: Pellegrini’s men aim to leapfrog Premier League leaders

The Premier League’s two most potent attacks go head-to-head when Manchester City host Liverpool on Thursday.

Third-placed City have scored an incredible 51 goals in their 17 top flight fixtures this term – nine more than the table-topping Reds have notched in the same number of games.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been particularly prolific at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 35 while conceding just five to take maximum points from their seven matches on home turf this season.

They have lost just two of their last 56 Premier League games at hom and beat Arsenal – who sit second after their 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Monday – 6-3 in their last outing at the Etihad.

City followed that win up with a 4-2 victory at Fulham last Saturday but free-scoring Liverpool will take heart from the fact Pellegrini’s team have conceded nine goals in their last four league matches.

Brendan Rodgers’ men have responded brilliantly to their 3-1 reverse at Hull City on December 1, winning four games in a row and scoring 17 goals in the process.

Luis Suarez’s scintillating form has been the driving force behind Liverpool’s run, with the Uruguayan notching 10 goals since the loss at the KC Stadium to take his Premier League tally to 19 in just 12 appearances this term.

That total puts Suarez six goals clear of City’s Argentine striker, Sergio Aguero, in the race for the golden boot and he has the opportunity to extend that lead further on Thursday as his South American counterpart is sidelined with a calf problem.

Aguero’s compatriot, Pablo Zabaleta, could also be missing after suffering a hamstring injury in their Capital One Cup win over Leicester City, while Micah Richards (hamstring), Matija Nastasic (calf) and Stevan Jovetic (knock) are also doubtful.

The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-2 draw, although both of Liverpool’s goalscorers on that occasion – Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard – will miss Thursday’s clash with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.

Defenders Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates (both knee) remain long-term absentees for Rodgers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *