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Manchester City vs. Liverpool, 2017 Premier League: Team News, Preview, Predictions

Big, huge, giant game in the race for a top-four finish.

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Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester City have been knocked out of the Champions League, and since it makes no sense to cry over what's already happened, let's try to focus on the positives: City have lost only once in their last 12 matches, are in great form in the Premier League and have an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to.

And even if the Champions League is over this season, there's the need of qualifying for next season's edition, and City must finish in the top four to guarantee that. Their opponents on Sunday also want a top-four finish, and thanks to Arsenal's horrible league form, both City and Liverpool are pretty close to joining Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur as the four teams playing Champions League football next season.

Their match on Sunday is not so much about the Top-4 race, it's about responses: City need to respond to their European disappointment and also get a revenge on the Reds for the loss at Anfield on New Year's Eve. Pep Guardiola and his men are certain to bring their best to the Etihad, and Jürgen Klopp is also bringing his talented army to do battle.

This will be fun.


MATCH INFO, HOW TO WATCH ON TV/ONLINE

Date/Time: Sunday, March 19, 2017, 4:30pm BST (UK), 12:30pm ET, 9:30am PT (USA), 10pm IST (India)

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England

Referee: Michael Oliver

Television: Sky Sports 1 (UK), NBC (USA), SuperSport 3 (Africa), Star Sports Select HD2 (India), Sportsnet World (Canada), elsewhere

Online streaming: Sky GO (UK), NBC Sports Live (USA), FuboTV (USA, 7-day free trial + monthly subscription, click here to sign up), elsewhere

(Listings via LiveSoccerTV)


TEAM NEWS

Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus are the only injury absentees, so Guardiola once again has a big squad available for selection. Captain Vincent Kompany is unlikely to play in such a physically demanding game, but he's been healthy for three weeks now and maybe this is the game where he returns. If not, Nicolas Otamendi will partner John Stones in defense because Aleksandar Kolarov should never be allowed to put on a City shirt again. We know he will, but against Liverpool he shouldn't.

In midfield, Yaya Touré was inexplicably left out of the Monaco loss, but because he was most likely rested to face Liverpool, he'll start this Sunday. Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva complete the midfield, and Sergio Agüero plays with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané up front. The biggest doubt is the full-backs, and captain Pablo Zabaleta has been the usual selection for the biggest domestic matches so far. Expect Zaba and Gaël Clichy on the flanks, which is basically the best Pep can do right now when it comes to those positions.

City will need intensity, smart attacking and improved finishing. The team SHOULD HAVE won in Monaco if it wasn't for the awful form in front of goal displayed by the team in the second half, especially Agüero. It's not always Pep's fault, guys.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

Man City: Caballero; Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Clichy; De Bruyne, Touré, Silva; Sterling, Agüero, Sané

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Lallana, Can, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Coutinho


PREDICTION

Thanks to Arsenal, a draw doesn't hurt anyone here, so let's get a 2-2 draw. Full of goals and excitement.