Manchester City v Liverpool / League – English Premier league (EPL)



Venue – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK


Time – 1630 P:M GMT


Date – 20 March 2017

 

 


 


Manchester City could recall Yaya Toure and Nicolas Otamendi, both of whom dropped to the bench in Wednesday’s defeat by Monaco.


City remain without long-term absentees Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan.


Liverpool will assess forward Roberto Firmino, who missed last weekend’s win against Burnley with a minor injury.


 


Dejan Lovren, who has been nursing a knee problem, played for the under-23 side on Monday and is fit to make his first senior appearance since January.


Divock Origi is doubtful because of a knock and illness, while injured duo Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge will again miss out.


 


Liverpool’s record against top sides bodes well for their trip to Manchester City, according to former winger Harry Kewell.


Former Liverpool winger Harry Kewell has backed the Reds for a favourable result against Manchester City and expects them to finish in the Premier League’s top four.


 


Jurgen Klopp’s side head into the match at the Etihad Stadium in fourth place, with a five-point cushion to Arsenal in fifth, although they have played two more games than the Gunners.


Liverpool have failed to win any of their last four away games in the top flight, a run that includes two defeats against struggling sides Hull City and Leicester City.


 


But Kewell – a Champions League and FA Cup winner during a four-year spell at Anfield – believes their impressive form against the better teams stands them in good stead of securing a return to Europe’s top competition.


 


“To be able to play under a manager that shows so much enthusiasm and so much passion would be a pleasure and an honor,” Kewell told Omnisport.


“They play fantastic football – they’ve only stumbled against the lower teams.


They’ve got a fantastic record against the higher clubs, so they only need to concentrate that little bit more against the teams down at the bottom of the league.


 


“I think they’ve had a little bit of a stumbling block but everyone goes through that in a season, so I can’t see them stumbling any more.


They’ve got a massive game coming up with City.


They can go to the Etihad and get something.


I’m confident Liverpool will be in the top four.”


 


Liverpool have yet to lose a league game this season against any side currently in the top half of the table, while they defeated City 1-0 in the reverse fixture on December 31.


Although Kewell is backing another positive result against Pep Guardiola’s side, he is wary of the threat posed by City’s speed in attack.


“They go forward with blistering pace and that’s what catches a lot of teams on the defence,” he said.


“They can turn defence straight into attack and in three or four seconds be taking a shot away.” Striker Gabriel Jesus will miss out due to a broken foot but Kewell expects the Brazilian to develop into one of the world’s finest forwards when he regains full fitness.


“He had a wonderful start,” added the former Australia star.


“He’s come to a City side that are young, fresh and exciting.


You must be something special if you can put Sergio Aguero out of the team.


“It’s such a shame that he had that injury.


It’s an annoying little injury.


Let’s hope he fully recovers because I believe he could be a star in world football.”


Pep Guardiola is well used to managing his sides through a sequence of big games.


 


However, it is unlikely that with either Barcelona or Bayern Munich he approached such a run with each fixture so laced with the danger of defeat.


After Liverpool at the Etihad, Guardiola travels to Arsenal and Chelsea as a prelude to pitting his wits against Arsene Wenger again in the FA Cup semi-final.


City might win the lot – but, after Monaco, Guardiola surely cannot completely silence the nagging voice which says that they could also lose the lot.


 


Jurgen Klopp will have studied Monaco’s approach to beating City and concluded that it was not so very far removed from his own preferred modus operandi – an approach which earned Liverpool a thumping win at City last season.


There could be a backlash from City after their defeat by Monaco but, even if there is, I don’t see them keeping a clean sheet.


 


The Reds will get chances but they will have work to do at the other end too.


I am going for a draw, which I think Liverpool would take now.


Manchester City have lost five of the last six Premier League meetings.


City have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their last 12 games against Liverpool in all competitions.


 


Liverpool’s 4-1 win in this fixture last season is their only victory in the last seven Premier League meetings at the Etihad Stadium.


Victory would ensure the Reds become the first team to record a top-flight double against a side managed by Pep Guardiola.


 


Manchester City – Victory would be City’s 200th Premier League home win.


They have lost five Premier League games this season – Pep Guardiola has never suffered six league defeats in a single season as a manager or head coach.


 


Sergio Aguero has scored in all four of his Premier League games versus Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium (four goals) – despite never having netted at Anfield.


John Stones could make his 100th Premier League appearance. Liverpool – Liverpool are unbeaten in nine league games this season against the top six sides prior to the latest round of matches, winning five of those matches.


 


The Reds have run further than any other team in the division, averaging a total of 117.3km per game.


Manchester City have the next highest total, with 114.8km per game.


Their only win in six competitive away games in 2017 came at League Two side Plymouth in the FA Cup on 18 January.


 


Philippe Coutinho has scored four Premier League goals in five games against Manchester City – more than against any other team.


He also netted against City in last season’s League Cup final.


Sadio Mane has had a hand in four goals in his last three Premier League appearances against City (three goals, one assist),


 


Prediction 1-1


 


 

 

 


 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*