Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City is humming along, but if there’s an in-form team capable of walking into the Etihad Stadium and taking points, it’s Liverpool, winners of four on the bounce (12:30 p.m. ET; watch live on NBCSN via NBC Sports Live Extra).
The last three times these two sides played the final read 2-2, including a League Cup pairing in 2012. History is decidedly red, as Liverpool holds a 75W-40D-39L advantage, though they’ve shared the points rather often recently. Both clubs are 2-6-2 since October 2008.
All eyes are on Luis Suarez, who could hardly be hotter for the Reds. He has nine goals and seven assists in his last four PL matches. It can be argued that he’s awakened a Liverpool side that lost its last match before his hot streak 3-1 at Hull City. He’s scored in nine matches this season and Liverpool boasts an 8W-1D-0L record in those contests.
City hasn’t lost since Nov. 10’s shock defeat at Sunderland and haven’t scored less than two goals at home since the end of last season. Liverpool has won just one of its last away matches yet sits tied atop the PL with Arsenal (but just two point ahead of Manchester City).
The Reds are still missing Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge, but will find little sympathy from the Citizens. They’re missing Sergio Aguero along with Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards.
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Silva, Negredo, Navas
Subs: Pantilimon, Clichy, Boyata, Garcia, Milner, Dzeko, Nastasic
Liverpool: Mignolet, Cissokho, Skrtel, Sakho, Johnson, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez.
Subs: Jones, Toure, Agger, Alberto, Aspas, Moses, Smith.