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Manchester City vs. Liverpool

The Etihad


17:30 GMT

The Citizens vs. The Reds

The Citizens take on the Reds at The Etihad with top spot in the Premier League up for grabs on Boxing Day. City will be looking to relive some of the magic from the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons, as both years saw this fixture end in a 3-0 win for City. Last season was a 2-2 draw that, for all intents and purposes, serves neither team any good if they want to win the title.

Vital Quotes:

Manuel Pellegrini spoke to the Official Manchester City Site and had this to say:

'We are just finishing the first half of the Premier League. There are two more games left but this league is not only about Liverpool and Manchester City. Five or six teams will fight to the end.'

Meanwhile, James Milner spoke on Luis Suarez:

"He is having a pretty good season. He`s a dangerous player. We have come up against dangerous players so far this season but he will definitely be right up there, so we will need to keep him quiet.

"But Liverpool are a top side having a good season and it`s not just about stopping him, because they have plenty of other players who can do damage as well."

On the other end, Brendan Rodgers spoke to the press about playing both City and Chelsea in back to back fixtures:

'We'll probably learn more about the squad,' said the gaffer. 'I know what the team can do, and we've all seen what the team can do. We've heard about all the injuries, but we will still approach the games with the same charisma and aggression to play, and the same intensity to work like animals without the ball.'

Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet spoke on the possibility of a title and what the Boxing Day fixture means:

'Everybody is professional enough in the dressing room to cope with these types of situations. What do I want for Christmas? Just a win on Boxing Day would be great.'

Manchester City Team News:

City will be without Pablo Zabaleta, Micah Richards, and Sergio Aguero, while Stefan Jovetic and Majita Nastasic are scheduled to be back to full fitness.

Player to watch: David Silva

While there are many players to highlight in the City squad, only one stands out if The Citizens want to reclaim the title, and that is David Silva. The diminutive Spaniard is everything you would want in a midfielder with that special aura capable of making those around him that much better. If Silva, who is returning from an injury, can play a full 90 minutes at full strength, Liverpool will have a lot to deal with.

Liverpool Team News:

Jon Flanagan will face a late fitness test to see if he is ready to take on City, while Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Jose Enrique, and Sebastian Coates will be out for the game.

Player to watch: Luis Suarez

While Liverpool has a long and storied history of producing excellent players, it's the player they brought in during the January transfer window of the 2010-2011 season. And no, it's not Andy Carroll, it's Luis Suarez, who has 19 goals on his own already this season which is more than 11 clubs have managed to score. Love him or hate him, there is no denying his ability to win games on his own. City would do well to keep him in check.

Match Facts & Stats

The last 10 games between these two clubs in the league has seen each team win two games with six draws making up the rest. City have the most goals scored at home with 35 while Liverpool have given up 13 goals on their travels.

Ref Watch:

Lee Mason

Match Prediction:

This could certainly be one for the ages, as City look to extend their home unbeaten streak and take back the top spot in the table, a place where many pundits and members of the press feel they should have been all along. Liverpool look to show the rest of the league that they mean business by coming into the most formidable stadium in all of England to try and take any points off of City. While Sergio Aguero is a big loss for the club in this fixture, the battle will be won in the midfield, and the City midfield has already coped with some of Europe's best this season. Prediction: 3-0

Next Fixtures:

Sa 28 Dec 15h00 Crystal Palace, The Etihad PL
We 01 Jan2014 15h00 Swansea City, Liberty Stadium PL
Sa 04 Jan2014 12h45 Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park FAC
We 08 Jan2014 19h45 West Ham United, The Etihad COC

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The journalist

Writer: PhillyBlueMoon Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 24 2013

Time: 6:58PM

Your Comments

Pablo may play, which would be a bonus. We must win this game at home, only this.
Will the spot light be on Harty. If so I don't think he will let us down.
Buzz Lightyear
Very bold to predict a clean sheet with some of our defending, but I reckon we'll win - just. It'll be a close one.
I have the same uneasy feeling going into this game as I had prior to the matches against United, Tottenham, Bayern (away) and Arsenal. Hope my uneasiness leads to the same type of result
By the skin of your teeth, Still my tip for the title this year. COYS!
Slurms McKenzie

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