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Manchester City vs. Liverpool, 2017 Premier League: Players to Watch

Big time match, big time players

Liverpool v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

After a tough 1-0 loss in Anfield to end the first half of the Premier League season, Manchester City are looking to avenge that defeat and beat Liverpool at the Etihad on Sunday.

Both teams have had up and down performances this season. Liverpool are fantastic against the strongest teams of the Premier League, but they’ve lost most of their points to Hull City, Swansea and Sunderland. City, on the other hand, usually capitalize on weaker teams, but struggle to grab wins against the Top-6 (only two this season).

Nonetheless, this match will be vital for both teams’ objective to secure a spot in the Champions League next season. Here’s a few players who could help their club’s chances:

Emre Can

The German midfielder will continue to play in place of injured captain Jordan Henderson. in midfield. It's not easy to replace someone of Henderson's caliber, but Can has done well, and he even scored the game-winner last weekend against mid-table Burnley. Will Can boss the midfield against a top-tier attack like City? We will find out.

Gaël Clichy

City’s veteran left-back has looked quite decent after returning from injury last month. He is a well rounded defender and has the pace and strength to compete with some of the best attackers out there. Clichy is going to need to play a really good game on Sunday, as Liverpool’s front trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Sadio Mané

Speaking of Mané, the Senegalese winger is lighting up the scoreboard this season. Even though he missed significant time during his participation in the African Cup of Nations, Mané has 12 goals and 5 assists in the Premier League.

Sadio's blistering pace and finishing ability are fantastic, and he is always tough to catch on the counter-attack. Look for Mané's name on the scoresheet if Liverpool come out on top this Sunday.

Kevin De Bruyne

City’s top creator this season, De Bruyne has proven his record-breaking transfer fee to be worth the price. Although he doesn’t have the greatest numbers (4 goals, 9 assists), his deep role in midfield is vital to City’s success.

The Belgian has played a different part under Pep Guardiola as a distributor rather than a finisher, but continues to influence play from everywhere and will be key for the Sky Blues to beat the Reds.