Liverpool v Manchester City: Match Preview

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Liverpool v Manchester City; Barclays Premier League; Anfield; Sunday 27 November 2011, 16:00

Team News

Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher, who returned to the squad for last week's win at Chelsea as a substitute, may have to settle for a place on the bench again as Kenny Dalglish keeps faith in his side.

Steven Gerrard is still not fit enough to return from an ankle infection that has kept him out of action, but Stewart Downing is pushing for a recall.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has no new injury concerns after striker Mario Balotelli declared himself fit for the Anfield clash, having recovered from the fever that troubled him in the midweek UEFA Champions League trip to Napoli.

Meanwhile, Carlos Tevez remains out of the first-team picture as speculation continues to gather pace that he is set to sign for AC Milan.

Clarke anticipates tough City challenge

Liverpool will need to be at their best if they are to beat Manchester City on Sunday admits Steve Clarke, but the assistant manager says the players have been working hard all week to ensure they're prepared for the challenge.

The Reds welcome Roberto Mancini's table-topping side to Anfield, and will be hoping to end their frustrating run of home form by overcoming a team that has dropped just two points in the Barclays Premier League this campaign.

"They're top of the league - and they're top of the league on merit," said Clarke. "They've only dropped two points, but we look forward to the challenge.

"We prepare ourselves - that's always what we try to do. We try and prepare our players and the way we want them to play.

"We feel if we can perform to our maximum, and the players can all perform to their maximum on the day, we can give any team in the Premier League a game.

"I don't think they have a main threat - they have a number of top-quality players, all capable of causing a problem.

"It's up to us as a team and as individual players to handle that threat and if we do that we'll be okay."

Liverpool will take confidence into Sunday's encounter following last weekend's 2-1 triumph over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge - but Clarke is adamant that nobody on Merseyside is getting carried away with the result.

"We've beaten Chelsea - but we can only speculate about the Manchester City game," he added. "Obviously we'll go out and try and win.

"We don't get carried away. Like I said after the Swansea game, we try not to get too low when things seem to be against us, and we don't get too carried away when things are looking rosy.

"We've had a good result at Stamford Bridge and we look forward to another big challenge this weekend."

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