Manchester City and Liverpool meet in a mouth-watering clash at the Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day, with both clubs genuine contenders for the Premier League title this season.

It's the Reds who have impressed most so far this term, and Simon Mignolet has been a big part of their success between the sticks.

For the Citizens, Joe Hart has struggled to find form on a consistent basis and was recently dropped - but he returned at the weekend and should start again on Thursday.

In defence, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers certainly has options, but the four of Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and John Flanagan seems like the best option at the current time.

Again, Manchester City are a little less settled because of injuries, but Martin Demichelis could again partner Vincent Kompany, with Gael Clicky and Aleksandar Kolarov the full-backs.

Moving ahead, and Lucas is settled at the heart of the Reds side, with Joe Allen again expected to partner the Brazilian in the absence of Steven Gerrard.

For the hosts, Fernandinho is starting to find form in a defensive midfield position, and could be partnered by Yaya Toure once again.

Liverpool have options in the more advanced position, but Raheem Sterling impressed at the weekend and should start on the right, with Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson also part of a forward-thinking three.

James Milner is likely to return on the right for Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, with David Silva behind the striker and Jesus Navas operating on the other flank.

That leaves both teams to play one striker each, with Luis Suarez the main man for the visitors and Alvaro Negredo leading the line for the hosts in the absence of Sergio Aguero.

Manchester City - Team Sheet prediction:

Hart; Kolarov, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Fernandinho, Yaya Toure; Milner, Silva, Jesus Navas; Negredo.

Liverpool - Team Sheet prediction:

Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Flanagan; Lucas, Allen; Sterling, Henderson, Coutinho; Suarez.

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