Liverpool host Manchester City in the early kick-off of the Sunday games. It will be last season’s top two going head to head in a game which perhaps doesn’t have such significance this time around. However, the game is still massive for both sides, but this time for different reasons. Liverpool were handed a huge boost in their race for the top four last weekend after beating Southampton and Manchester United losing. United this week, though, have won. So Liverpool will be looking to keep United in their sights with some sort of results against the champions.
Manchester City gained some ground on Chelsea in the title race last week – and could do some more this week, with Chelsea playing in the final of the Capital One Cup. City were rampant in their last league game; the Sky Blues thumped Newcastle 5-0. David Silva was the star man with a brace, Edin Dzeko, Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero also notched. City would have been looking to replicate their electrifying performance against Barcelona in midweek. However, Barcelona came to the Etihad and for the majority of the game outplayed the home side. Barca eventually came out 2-1 winners against Pellegrini’s side, with ex Red’s favourite, Luis Suarez scoring both goals. How much would this have taken out of City?
I’m sure everyone reading this remembers the unforgettable fixture between these sides last season. Many dubbed it as the ‘title decider’ (however – things didn’t plan out like that) – a five goal game with Liverpool edging it 3-2 in one of the games of the season. Let’s hope the game is nothing like that at all and Liverpool win 1-0 – in the most boring possible way.
Liverpool had a crushing defeat on Thursday night. It was in the Europa League which many people criticize. However, this season, it seemed to have more significance. If the Reds won it, they would have automatically qualified for the Champions League next season. It’s a good way to do so as top four isn’t a certainty. It could, though, ensure Liverpool focus more on their league form in order to reach that top four and qualify for Europe’s most prestigious competition for the 2015/16 season.
Brendan Rodgers’ side came out of Thursday’s game with the worst possible outcome. They conceded late on in the game which forced extra-time, then that was thirty minutes of pretty much no chances. The game was then forced to go to penalties and Besiktas came through winners with Dejan Lovren missing the decisive penalty. This means – three days before Sunday’s City encounter – the Reds played 120 minutes for essentially nothing.
This could mean a lot of rotation is on the cards for Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool didn’t go out in Turkey with their full strength side, though – and some are expected to return on Sunday. Jordan Henderson, Lazar Markovic, Mamadou Sakho and Philippe Coutinho amongst those. Coutinho, Henderson and Sakho’s absence from Thursday’s side was hugely noticeable. However, Sakho and Henderson will be assessed and their inclusion isn’t certain.
This is the side I’d go with against the champions: