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Match preview: Manchester City vs Liverpool

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Perhaps the biggest game on the Boxing Day schedule sees top of the table Liverpool head to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City in a very important clash.

After spending their first Christmas Day at the top in four years, Liverpool will look to continue their strong form but face one of the toughest tests of their progress against a City side running rampant at home.

The Citizens are currently third in the table and haven't lost at Eastlands in the Premier League under new boss Manuel Pellegrini. And they have been scoring for fun with 36 goals in the Premier League this season.

That tally includes putting four past rivals Manchester United, seven against Norwich and six in their last home game versus Arsenal.

Meanwhile Liverpool's away form hasn't been great with only the 5-0 humbling at Tottenham their only victory in the last six games away from Anfield, however they are currently on a run of four straight wins and have perhaps the most in-form striker in the world at the moment in Luis Suarez.

These two teams are the highest scorers in the Premier League this season with City scoring 51 goals in their opening 17 games and Liverpool netting 42 times over the same period.

I believe this game will continue that high scoring trend with neither team willing to play a defensive style we saw at the Emirates when Arsenal and Chelsea drew 0-0 on Monday.

Indeed for all the goals City have scored they have also conceded a few as well and have played a number of different pairings at the back, goalkeeper Joe Hart has recently returned in goal and will be between the sticks on Boxing Day.

Liverpool too have struggled to keep clean sheets and have also played various combinations but set pieces seem to have been the biggest area of concern for the men in red.

In what is perhaps a vital week in Liverpool's season - the next game is away to Chelsea on Sunday - manager Brendan Rodgers has highlighted the lack of players he has with only 17 to choose from over the busy Christmas and New Year period.

Striker Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard remain out while the in-form Jon Flanagan is also a doubt.

While Suarez's recent figures are well known the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling have also stepped up, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen have also impressed in the midfield however whether they can enjoy more success against City will be a major factor in the result.

Manchester City are without top scorer Sergio Aguero who remains sidelined as well as defenders Matija Nastasic, Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards in what is a worrying thought for Pellegrini ahead of facing the in-form Suarez.

Without Aguero it falls to Edin Dzeko and Negredo to provide the goals with Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure also adding to the score sheet from the midfield.

Given City's home record any kind of result for Liverpool would be a major statement with a win certainly bolstering their title credentials but if there is a criticism of Liverpool it's been they haven't got the job done against the top teams.

Brendan Rodgers upped the anti claiming the blue side of Manchester are the favourites to score a second league triumph in three years and in my opinion no matter how good Suarez is I think City may have just enough to claim all three points.

My Prediction: Manchester City 3 - 1 Liverpool.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Manchester City
Premier League
Football

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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