City face Liverpool hoping to preserve their unbeaten home record and avoid making at a Merseyside double weekend.
United lost 3-1 at Everton on Saturday and Roberto Mancini will be hoping City fair better against the scousers and put some clear distance between the two as the race for fourth place hots up.
The City manager believes all the pressure will be on Rafa Benitez’ men as they attempt to leapfrog the blues and increase their Champions League qualification chances. “We want to win and so do they, so it will be difficult but more so for Liverpool,” explains the Italian.
“We are above them and they have to try to get past us. We have to be positive, if we can win, we will go further ahead of them so that’s what we must try to do.”
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez will be hoping for a similar performance to the one in last season’s fixture when his team came back from two goals down to win 3-2. Victory today will take the Merseysiders two points clear of the blues in fourth place, but defeat will increase the pressure on the Spaniard, whose job has been rumored to have been on the line for a good part of the season.
Patrick Vieira starts his three match ban and misses today’s game which may give Stephen Ireland the chance to impress. Craig Bellamy could also feature despite the rumoured bust up between him and manager Mancini in midweek. Martin Petrov will also miss the game with a knee injury which could keep him out for a month while Carlos Tevez is still in Argentina on family matters.
Fernando Torres is still out for Liverpool as is Glen Johnson who are both sidelined with knee injuries while Yossi Benayoun is still struggling with a rib injury.
Manchester City (from): Given, Taylor, Richards, Zabaleta, Onuoha, Toure, Lescott, Boyata, Garrido, Sylvinho, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, De Jong, Ibrahim, Johnson, Bellamy, Adebayor.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Skrtel, Agger, Carragher, Insua, Gerrard, Lucas, Aquilani, Rodriguez, Riera, Benayoun, Ngog, Kuyt, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing, Babel, Aurelio, Degen.
League Form (Last Five)
Danger man: Steven Gerrard
Always a threat in the Liverpool engine room but has not been playing his bet lately
Over The Blue Moon Prediction: City 2-1 Liverpool
While both teams are not playing particularly well, I fancy the blues to nick it