Manchester City visit Anfield today in their first away fixture of the 2012/13 Premier League season. An away trip to Anfield has not been a happy fixture for the blues in recent seasons and today's fixture will not be an easy one.
Liverpool, still smarting from last weeks capitulation to West Brom, should be a far more organized and fired up outfit for Man City's visit. Brendan Rodgers will want his side to make a good impression on his EPL home debut and a loss today would not be the best way to endear himself to the Kop, especially when we know what Liverpool's next few fixtures look like.
For Roberto Mancini's men, who endured an exciting, and at times scary first fixture of the 2012/13 season at home to Southampton, a good start to this year's away campaign will be the requirement. A point will be the minimum that is expected.
Last Season 1-1
Odds: Liverpool 2/1 draw 12/5 Man City 11/8
Liverpool are without the suspended Daniel Agger, who is not a Man City target. Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez et al return after being rested in mid-week.
Man City are without the injured Sergio Aguero (get well soon), Gareth Barry and Micah Richards.
Kelly Carragher Skrtel Johnson
Nasri Tevez Silva
Clichy Lescott Kompany Zabaletta
Suffered a 3-0 loss away to West Brom. Daniel Agger's red card didn't help. Liverpool unraveled late on.
Man City W
A rollercoaster 3-2 win at home to Southampton. Expect a tighter ship today.
Liverpool have some good things going for them. joe Allen is a pass master, Gerrard will relish this first big game of the season and Suarez, whilst not the best finisher, is a en extremely good technician and '#10'. Liverpool may be exposed at the back with Carrager filling in for the suspended Agger.
I'd expect Man City to be a touch more cautious and careful at the back than they were against Southampton. We have enough attacking threats to rely on without having to be overly attacking in nature. If the same amount of space is afforded to Man City that Liverpool afforded West Brom this could well be a long afternoon for Brendan Rodgers and his team.
This is a big game for Mario Balotelli, it may well be his chance to stake a claim for the starting striker position alongside the excellent Tevez. Will Balotelli take his chance or will Dzeko be the man who sees more game time with Aguero's 4-6 weeks injury absence?
Dzeko didn't take his chance when Tevez sidelined last year and Balotelli couldn't keep his self discipline in check for long enough to be Tevez's replacement. I think we need to see Mario have a run of 4 or 5 starts to see just where he is at in terms of his level of performance. Is he the striker from the Germany semi final or the striker from the Arsenal away debacle? Neither, but probably somewhere in between.
In today's fixture I see Man City being fairly tight at the back and having to withstand the usual home pressure, but I can see Man City leaving Anfield with all 3 points today on the back of dominant performances from Tevez, Nasri and YaYa. These 3 players may be too good for a Liverpool team still in it's infancy of the Rodgers passing evolution.
Liverpool 0-2 Man City
Any prediction or thoughts guys?