EPL Preview: Manchester City vs. Liverpool
Two Premier League heavy weights will pit their wits tonight at the City of Manchester stadium as Liverpool travels to the take on the nouveau riche Manchester City.
Both these teams are in transition for entirely different reasons as both embark on a mission to bring glory to their respective clubs.
Manchester City faced a daunting task in its opening game against Tottenham Hotspurs and was lucky to come away from the match unscathed and with a point.
It was all thanks to Joe Hart between the posts who held his own to deny Spurs and sniff off the City goal.
Liverpool in contrast was very unlucky to draw 1-1 with Arsenal on the opening weekend where after having Joe Cole dismissed they took the lead through David Ngog but only for Pepe Reina to gift Arsenal with an equalizer.
The result turned what could have been an amazing night at Anfield into another night of doom and gloom and marred Roy Hodgson’s opening day party.
City have clearly showed their financial power over the summer when they spent an excess of 125 million pounds, a figure greater than the money spent by any other football club in the world, just to exert their authority in the Premier League and end the club’s 34-year-old title drought.
City’s new signings Yaya Toure, Aleksander Kolarov and David Silva all were involved in the game against Spurs with City looked like a bunch of strangers chucked together for the first time while spurs were much more fluid with their game play and if City are to avoid another hick up in their title bid then they must resurrect this problem. .
Last season both the meetings between the two teams ended in a draw with the last meeting at the City of Manchester Stadium was a drab affair as both the teams were more concerned about not losing the match rather than winning it.
However, this is a totally different time, as Mancini has now a world of riches at his disposal while Hodgson also displayed a much more attacking intent Rafa had ever done in a game of such magnitude.
The biggest problem for Mancini is however the selection of his playing 11 as his midfield tri of De Jong, Toure and Barry were highly ineffective in the game against Spurs and this time around he has to strike a fine balance if he is to win.
This time he has an added advantage of having Mario Balotelli and his newest recruit James Milner both available for selection and can be given their Premier League debuts.
On the other hand the reds from Liverpool will be making this trip without Joe Cole, who is serving a three match ban after receiving a straight red in the match against Arsenal last week.
Steven Gerrard is set to take Joe Cole’s place in the advanced role behind the striker in the absence of Alberto Aquilani, who has just been loaned out to Juventus after just a solitary season at the club.
Christian Poulsen is likely to make his Premier League debut in the middle of the park alongside Mascherano, who is fit after recovering from a knock he suffered against Arsenal.
Daniel Agger is still struggling with the concussion he suffered against Arsenal and is unlikely to feature in the game while Skrtel, Kuyt and Glen Johnson are likely to return to the first team after being dropped for the midweek game against Trabzonspor.
Liverpool’s striker in golden touch, David Ngog may not feature in the match as Fernando Torres is fully fit and is expected to start tonight while new keeper Brad Jones will be starting the match as a substitute.