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Manchester City team news: Wilfried Bony pushing for first start

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Having already seen their Champions League hopes suffer a major blow this week, things could get even worse for Manchester City when they travel to Liverpool on Sunday.

The Premier League champions are currently five points behind leaders Chelsea, but with Jose Mourinho's men in Capital One Cup final actions this weekend City could close the gap to just two points this weekend.

However, in order to do so they'd have to gain a rare victory at Anfield, ending a winless streak that dates back to 2003 and counts seven defeats and four draws among the previous 11 meetings on Merseyside.

Last time out

The two times done battle at Anfield at the back end of last season in a game which looked set to have a huge impact on the destination of the Premier League title.

A 3-2 victory for the Reds saw them move seven points clear of City with four games left to play as they hunted a first ever Premier League crown.

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The result prompted Steven Gerrard's now infamous 'don't let this slip' speech as Liverpool's players huddled together on the pitch at full-time.

However, City had two games in hand on their rivals and would eventually go on to pip Brendan Rodgers' side to top spot, regaining the title they'd first claimed in 2012.

Barcelona backlash

City go in to the game on the back of a 2-1 Champions League defeat to Barcelona, and will be desperate to make amends for an abject display.

Manuel Pellegrini's team were simply outplayed in the first half with few players coming out of the game with any credit and they'll need to be vastly improved if they're to claim three points on Sunday.

It's not just City who were in mid-week action though, Liverpool traveled to Besiktas on Thursday only to be beaten on penalties and dumped out of the Europa League.

Changes predicted

Tuesday's performance will have left the City boss with a number of big decisions to make, and it would come as no surprise if he were to make wholesale changes come Sunday lunchtime, especially in defence.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart will continue between the sticks having given his team a glimmer of hope with a late penalty save from Lionel Messi, but the back four may have a very different look to it.

Vincent Kompany will keep his place, although were he not club captain his position would have to be questioned after a below-par showing on Tuesday.

Full-backs Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta could both be dropped with Clichy having seen red for two yellows and Zabaleta guilty of conceding the late spot kick.

Bony to make first start?

At the other end of the pitch Pellegrini will have to decide whether or not to again start with two strikers after seeing his midfield completely overrun by their Barcelona counterparts.

Should the City boss stick with two up top Wilfried Bony will be hopeful of making a first start since his January arrival after coming off the bench against both Barcelona and Newcastle.

Sergio Aguero's goal against Barca will be enough for him to retain his place meaning Eden Dzeko will be the likely casualty.

Midfield dilemma

Another Ivorian, Yaya Toure, will also come in to the starting line up after missing the mid-week clash through suspension.

He could be partnered in central midfield by Fernandinho who gave City a fresh impetus when introduced from the bench on Tuesday night.

Out wide, Jesus Navas will be looking for a recall having not started since the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the end of January but his inclusion would result in one of Samir Nasri or David Silva dropping out of the starting line-up.

Likewise, James Milner could see his starting place taken away after a rare outing in central midfield.

Man City predicted line-up: Hart; Sagna, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Navas, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva; Aguero, Bony

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Topics:
Manchester City
Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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