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Liverpool preview

Where and when:
Saturday 25th November 2006, Anfield

Current form:
Stark contrasts here - Liverpool's home form has been near perfect whilst ours has been the mirror opposite. Liverpool's last two games have seen a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal and a disappointing goalless draw at Middlesbrough.
We are coming in on the back of a two game unbeaten run with half-decent displays against Newcastle and Fulham.

Team news:
Craig Bellamy should be in the squad even though he is involved in a court case in Cardiff, but will be missing Xabi Alonso and Mark Gonzalez (hamstring), while Stephen Warnock (groin) misses out and Jermaine Pennant (hamstring) is doubtful.
Dietmar Hamann has recovered from a thigh injury, though he will probably be on the bench.
Trevor Sinclair (knee) and DaMarcus Beasley (ankle) are still out though.

Keys to the game:
Whenever we come up against Liverpool the inevitable Barton-Gerrard comparisons crop up, and perhaps even more especially in the light of Terry Venables comments which were picked up as a 'Barton for England' message.
With the Liverpool midfield resembling a casualty ward at the moment, there will be even more responsibility on Gerrard in the middle which will be a big test of how Barton is progressing as a player.
Stuart Pearce was talking today about the side being more 'hard nosed' away from home which is preventing us from pushing for a European place. Chances are likely to be at a premium so it is imperative that we take any that come our way - something I recall Samaras not doing in the corresponding fixture last season.
Liverpool are not usually full of goals themselves so there is a chance of coming away with something if the defence can transform their home form onto their travels.

City link:
Robbie Fowler - anyone seen him recently?

Why City will win:
Liverpool are troubled by injuries to key players and their Premiership displays have been indifferent this season - in contrast to their European form. We will take heart from an improved performance at home against Fulham and could snatch something.

Why City will lose:
I'm tired of repeating this, but the away form is shocking and we have rarely looked like ending the winless streak. Anfield is never an easy place to visit and Liverpool's home results (like our own) have kept them where they are in the table.

Liverpool 2 City 0