Manchester City v Liverpool: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this weekend’s Premier League fixture at the Etihad Stadium

Cast your minds back to last season, with one of the closest title races in history poised to go down to the wire, Liverpool welcomed Manchester City to Anfield, both had the title in their sights. A Philippe Coutinho strike in a 3-2 victory for the Reds in that game looked to have tilted the title in their favour, however a Steven Gerrard mistake and a merciless City run of form in the remaining games meant the title slipped from Liverpool’s grasp and ended up in the hands of Manuel Pellegrini’s team.

With a new season underway, Liverpool look to put last season’s heartbreak behind them, and Brendan Rodgers’ side got off to a solid, if what unspectacular start with a 2-1 victory against Southampton. England internationals Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge picked up where they left off from last season, earning the plaudits by bagging a goal each in that game, and Rodgers will be looking to them to take up the mantel left by Player of the Year Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona in a £75 million deal.

Filling the void left by Suarez will be difficult and Rodgers will be desperate not to fall into the trap Tottenham did last season when they tried to replace Gareth Bale with quantity in terms of players, instead of quality. Having said that, Liverpool have splashed the cash this summer, ransacking Southampton for Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren, as well as signing Alberto Moreno, Emre Can and Lazar Markovic from the continent.

Manchester City on the other hand have gone quietly about their business this summer, with Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala their most noteworthy signing. The reigning champions’ season did not get off to the best start after they were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Arsenal in the Community Shield, however, Pellegrini’s men eased to a 2-0 victory against Newcastle in their season opener thanks to goals from David Silva and Sergio Aguero.

As both teams prepare to square up for the season’s first big clash, a defeat would not be terminal for either side this early into the season. However, Liverpool will be desperate to extract revenge for last season, while Manchester City will be hoping to build some early season momentum to carry into their autumn fixtures.

KICK-OFF: Monday, 8pm.

PAST MEETINGS…

Liverpool 3 (Sterling, Skrtel, Coutinho) Man City 2 (Silva, Johnson OG), Premier League, April 2014

Man City 2 (Kompany, Negredo) Liverpool 1 (Coutinho), Premier League, December 2013

Man City 2 (Dzeko, Aguero) Liverpool 2 (Sturridge, Gerrard), Premier League, February 2013

STATS…

Man City full backs Aleksandar Kolarov (7) and Pablo Zabaleta (6) assisted more goals than any other defenders in the 2013-14 Premier League.

Frank Lampard is the top scoring midfielder in Premier League history with 171 goals, more than Aguero, Dzeko, Yaya Toure and David Silva combined.

City’s total of 102 goals last season in the Premier League is the second highest in the competition’s history (behind Chelsea with 103 in 2009-10).

Liverpool fired in 258 shots on target last season, more than any other team in the Premier League.

Daniel Sturridge’s goals won Liverpool 20 points in the Premier League last season; more than any other player for their side.

ODDS…

Man City to win: 1.85

Liverpool to win: 4.1

Draw: 4.5

CLASSIC MOMENT

Staring down the barrel and facing the prospect of final-day relegation at the end of the 1995/96 season, Alan Ball's City went 2-0 down to Liverpool, however his side drew level thanks to a late rally. Wrongly believing a draw would keep his team up, Ball told his players to retain possession, however City in fact had a worse goal difference than their relegation rivals. Ball realised his catastrophic error too late and City were relegated.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1HD at 8pm.

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