With midweek failures in Europe still larger than they appear in the rearview mirror, Liverpool and Manchester City face off at Anfield looking to shake those demons, with kickoff at 7am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
A win would send the home side fifth in the table, even with fourth-placed Arsenal on points, while Manchester City can put a serious dent in Chelsea’s title pad with a win of their own. The Blues currently own a five-point lead, but with Jose Mourinho off this weekend in favor of the League Cup final, it’s on Manuel Pellegrini to apply the pressure.
Brendan Rodgers has rung the changes in his teamsheet for the big matchup after tumbling out of the Europa League just days ago. Daniel Sturridge remains just a substitute option, one of a whopping four strikers on the Liverpool bench. Bright youngster Jordan Ibe misses out completely, while Dejan Lovren starts in the back-three despite his match-losing penalty miss midweek, alongside Martin Skrtel and Emre Can. The injury news for the Reds is positive, with Philippe Coutinho back after a rest midweek in the loss to Besiktas and Jordan Henderson able to get past his ankle issue for a spot in the starting lineup as well.
For Manchester City, Yaya Toure is back after missing out midweek in the first-leg loss to Barcelona due to suspension, while Wilfried Bony still has yet to make his first Manchester City start with Edin Dzeko getting the nod alongside Sergio Aguero. Central defender Martin Demichelis has been sat in favor of Eliaquim Mangala, while Gael Clichy also takes a seat.
Liverpool remains the only Premier League side that has yet to lose in the Premier League during the 2015 calendar year, with 10 straight games unbeaten and five wins in their last six.
Liverpool – Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Henderson, Allen, Moreno, Markovic, Lallana, Coutinho, Sterling.
Bench: Ward, Toure, Lambert, Sturridge, Borini, Balotelli, Williams.
Manchester City – Hart, Zabaleta, Mangala, Kompany, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero.
Bench: Caballero, Demichelis, Clichy, Lampard, Bony, Milner, Fernando.