Liverpool v Manchester City: Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli on the bench as Sergio Aguero starts

The Liverpool boss has again decided to play without strikers, with Sturridge on the bench

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The Independent Football

Brendan Rodgers has again picked a starting XI without a striker for today's Barclays Premier League game against second-placed Manchester City, with Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli both having to make do with places on the bench.

Liverpool handily defeated Southampton 2-0 last Sunday with a fluid attack that had no attacking focal point, with Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling scoring the goals.

Victory today would see them leapfrog Southampton into fifth, following Ronald Koeman's side's limp 1-0 defeat to West Brom yesterday.

Manchester City welcome back Yaya Toure in midfield, while Aleksandar Kolarov takes the place of Gael Clichy, who disappointed against Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek.

New signing Wilfried Bony, who came on as a substitute in the 2-1 home defeat to the Catalans, has to be content once again with a place on the bench, as Edin Dzeko again partners Sergio Aguero up front.

Having received criticism from Paul Scholes in the past few days, Vincent Kompany starts alongside Eliaquim Mangala, the expensive centre back who has struggled in his first season in Manchester.

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Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Henderson, Allen, Moreno, Markovic, Lallana, Coutinho, Sterling Subs: Ward, Toure, Lambert, Sturridge, Borini, Balotelli, Williams
Manchester City XI: Hart, Zabaleta, Mangala, Kompany, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero Subs: Caballero, Demichelis, Clichy, Lampard, Bony, Milner, Fernando