Date: Saturday 31st December Venue: Anfield Competition: Barclays Premier League KO: 15:30 Referee: Craig Pawson
Liverpool will not be able to call upon the services of influential playmaker Philippe Coutinho for the visit of Manchester City, with the Brazilian yet to shake off an ankle injury suffered back in November.
Cameroonian defender Joel Matip is another injury doubt for the game having missed the last three matches and Ragnar Klavan prepared to partner Dejan Lovren once more.
Daniel Sturridge netted his first league goal of the season during Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Stoke City and the Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp must decide whether to hand him a first start since October, or stick with Belgian striker Divock Origi.
The Citizens arrive in Merseyside bolstered by the return of talismanic striker Sergio Aguero, with the Argentinean back in the fold after missing four games through suspension.
John Stones will miss the chance to line-up against Liverpool however, with the ex-Everton central defender forced off against Hull with a knee complaint.
Yaya Toure could be in line for a rest, with Fernando set to take up a place in the middle of the park for Pep Guardiola’s men.
A real clash of the titans lies in store for New Year’s Eve with the teams currently sitting in second and third in the Barclays Premier League preparing to lock horns with each other.
With Chelsea expected to beat Stoke City earlier in the day, defeat for either side in the evening kick-off would have serious detriments towards their title aspirations.
Liverpool go into the clash looking to continue their unbeaten run on home soil this season, and in facing the Citizens they come up against a team which has failed to overturn them during the last 11 clashes at Anfield – a run stretching all the way back to 2003.
City sit just a point behind their counterparts this weekend but they have not looked in great shape in recent weeks, with Guardiola searching for the same level of performances that they started the season with.
A win this Saturday would be the perfect occasion for the City boss to see his side turn on the style, against a team who will undoubtedly be one of their main rivals for the Premier League title.
Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Origi, Firmino
Bravo; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne; Aguero
- This Saturday sees Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola go head-to-head for the first time in English football. The Liverpool boss is one of just two managers that have beaten a Pep Guardiola managed side on more than two occasions, stretching back to their days managing in the Bundesliga.
- Liverpool are undefeated in their last 15 home matches against Manchester City in all competitions.
- Manchester City have scored at least two goals in eight of their last nine away matches in the Premier League.
An intriguing encounter is sure to be on the horizon for this Saturday and it could produce an absolute feast of goals to bring in the New Year. That said, I cannot pick a winner here. Liverpool 2-2 Manchester City.