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Match day preview.



Liverpool arrive at Eastlands tomorrow on the back of a fairly impressive run of late - unbeaten in five games without having conceded a goal, to possibly begin a run of consistency in the league which Rafael Benitez has been searching for since taking over at the beginning of last season. They do so having now qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League and can now concetrate on making an impression in the league.

Defensively, we steadied the ship a little with the clean sheet against Blackburn last week and will be looking to repeat last seasons 1-0 victory which could take us back into the top four. Team wise, Joey Barton returns to strengthen the midfield but Claudio Reyna and Antoine Sibierski could miss out whilst Spanish duo Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia are set to miss out for Liverpool. The much lamented Peter Crouch is expected to start up front, but hopefully our generous tradition of helping out of form strikers will not surface tomorrow.

For want of sounding like a stuck record, I do expect another tight game and cannot see many goals. In fact, we have now gone twenty four games without suffering a defeat by more than one goal and haven't conceded more than one goal at home in the last twelve, whilst Liverpool bring with them the impressive stat that they have only fallen behind twice in Premiership games this season.

I don't expect either attacks to get much change of their opposing defenders - Hyppia and the vastly improved Carragher have been impressive this season whilst Liverpool haven't really found a combination from Morientes, Cisse, Crouch and Luis Garcia that has really clicked.

History shows that we haven't shared many goal-less draws over the last few seasons so my prediction for tomorrow is City 1 Liverpool 1 - with a feeling Vassell may get the first goal.