Manchester City lost their last encounter with Liverpool in an exhilarating game at Anfield in April, where it looked as though Liverpool would go on to lift the title. This was not to happen as the Reds slipped up against Chelsea and Crystal Palace, and City capitalised by winning their remaining fixtures to be crowned champions.
The Citizens started the defence of their title with an impressive victory over Newcastle last weekend in a professional performance from the Sky Blues. They were far from their imperious best, but prevented the Magpies from any real threat on goal and Sergio Aguero came off the bench to seal the victory with a sublime finish. The Argentina forward will be pivotal to his side’s success this season and if he can stay fit, City may well retain their title. Aguero has the best minutes-per-goal rate in Premier League history of one every 115 minutes.
Eliaquim Mangala remains unlikely to make his debut as he is still short of match fitness, but Pablo Zabaleta is could be back in line to start and loan midfielder Frank Lampard is available. Manchester City have scored exactly two goals in each of their last four Premier League games against Liverpool.
Liverpool were fortunate to claim victory against Southampton after being outplayed in the second-half, but credit should be given to them for securing victory. The Reds seemed to be missing the firepower and creativity of last-season’s top-scorer, Luis Suarez, and Brendan Rodgers will need to convince supporters that the summer investment has improved the team, despite the Uruguayan’s departure.
Dejan Lovren was a commanding presence in the centre of defence last weekend and fellow recruits Lazar Markovic and Alberto Moreno are in contention to make their Liverpool debuts. However, fellow summer arrival Adam Lallana’s wait to make his bow continues, as the midfielder is still recovering from a knee injury.
The Reds have conceded as many goals in their last four league trips to the Etihad as they had in the previous 11, which is a total of 10. Although City have conceded 98 goals at home in Premier League North-West derbies. Daniel Sturridge has scored 32 goals in 44 league games for Liverpool and has the fifth best minutes-per-goal rate in Premier League history ahead of former team-mate Luis Suarez.
What to watch out for: Edin Dzeko has scored five goals and assisted one more in his last five Premier League appearances.
Man City – Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy; Fernando, Toure, Nasri, Silva, Dzeko, Jovetic
Liverpool – Mignolet; Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Sturridge