Quotes, team news, form and prediction ahead of the Liverpool v Manchester City clash.
What the Managers are saying:
Brendan Rodgers: “I’m loving every minute of it. This is brilliant. I may not have been in this position before but I have been in football a long time. This is only my fifth year as a manager but I’ve been stood on the touchline coaching for 20 years. I am just really enjoying seeing us develop as a team. When you play and work for a club like Liverpool there is always pressure every day of your life.”
Manuel Pellegrini: “Maybe I am wrong but I always think in the same way as a manager – if you play to draw you will lose, so we are going to play to win,” he said. “Of course after the game if we couldn’t win the game and we draw, it’s a good result, but we are not going to play against Liverpool thinking we must draw. We don’t know how to play in that way.”
What the players are saying:
Luis Suarez: “We’re not getting carried away with the talk of a possible trophy. It’s obviously nice for the fans to believe and be excited. But it’s our responsibility as players to concentrate on the next team we face, do our best on the pitch and we’ll see what happens in May.”
Stevan Jovetic: “This squad has a lot of experience because we won the Premier League two years ago. We know how to play and keep the pressure down and I think Liverpool have more pressure – I think we are going to win. “
Liverpool are likely to be almost at full strength with long-term absentee Jose Enrique the only man missing out. Daniel Agger is set to return after missing the win over West Ham United although Brendan Rodgers could opt to stick with the more physical Mamadou Sakho. The former PSG man put in a solid performance alongside Martin Skrtel at Upton Park and could keep his place especially with the Alvaro Negredo, Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko all big men.
With Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge and of course Luis Suarez the first names on the team sheets the final four midfield/attacking positions are up for grabs and it remains to be seen whether Rodgers will stick to his attacking principles and go with Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho or decide to leave one on the bench with either Lucas or Joe Allen coming in.
City meanwhile will welcome back Sergio Aguero after a hamstring injury although the Argentine forward could start on the bench.
Liverpool are the form team heading into the clash, although only just. The club have won their last 9 leagues games on the trot beating Arsenal, Manchester United and Spurs during that run. The club have scored 32 goals during that run, an average of over 3 a game.
City meanwhile have won five of their last 6 games, thrashing Fulham and Manchester United not to mention coming away from a tricky trip to the Emirates with a point. Pellegrini’s men have been equally entertaining as an attacking force this season scoring 84 goals so far this campaign, six fewer than Sunday’s hosts.
This clash is really very difficult to call. Liverpool have been strong at home this season with Southampton the only team to leave with all three points. City meanwhile struggled on the road earlier in the season but they are unbeaten on their travels (10 games) since they lost to Sunderland in November. The last two games at Anfield have ended in score-draws and given the goal scoring threats of both sides this game looks set to continue in that vein.