Liverpool face Manchester City at the Etihad on Saturday in what will be a true test for the away side. City rest at the top of the Premier League, scoring double the amount of goals as Liverpool in 10th place, and conceding nearly half as many times. The blues have been playing some nice football this season but Liverpool will be a side eagerly looking to impress after a defeat to Crystal Palace last time out. However, in what will be a big fixture for both sides, all eyes will be on one man only, Raheem Sterling.
The young Englishman left Liverpool in the summer after a lot of dispute, in favour of a move to Manchester City. Many reds fans were inevitably annoyed to say the least and their attitude wasn’t improved by comments made by Sterling’s agent Aidy Ward, who’s been at it again recently. In the past Ward has been quick to try and usher Sterling away from Liverpool, most likely to pocket himself some quick cash but once again he has been at it, this time going after ex Liverpool manager Brendam Rodgers. Sterling’s agent commented on how Manchester City suits Raheem much more than Liverpool ever did and argued that Brendan Rodgers hindered his development by playing him out of position.
I believe however that Rodgers did a great deal for the youngster. I think without Brendan, Sterling would be nowhere near where he is today and could still be playing at youth levels possibly. Rodgers did the complete opposite of hinder Raheem’s progress, in actual fact he allowed Sterling a chance to show what he can do and become a much better player than I believe he ever would’ve been. He allowed him freedom on the pitch and even gave him a chance up front due to injuries.
Anyway, back to the match. This will be Liverpool’s most difficult opponent all season, with Man City first in the league and playing attractive football. Liverpool have improved under Klopp and will take the game to City, no doubt, with their high pressing play. However the reds suffered a set back last time out against Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace and will want to bounce back with a good result. From City’s point of view they probably should win this one. They’ve been better than Liverpool this season and have a team of a much better quality. The blues also haven’t lost in nine and have won twelve of their last thirteen Premier League matches. It will take a huge effort from the visitors to get a result on Saturday.
Man City have been without Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Pablo Zabaleta recently but all are in contention to appear against Liverpool, although Samir Nasri looks set to be missing until February. This may be the worst of the injuries for City, but for the reds the injury battle goes on. Mamadou Sakho’s injury apparently isn’t as bad as it was first thought but he will still not play this weekend. Henderson and Rossiter remain sidelined for this game while Milner and Ibe both missed international matches thorugh injury, although the two could return in time to play on Saturday. Some good news for Liverpool fans though, Daniel Sturridge may make an appearance at some point. Klopp has said Sturridge is fit but hasn’t had a chance to train so we will just have to wait and see if he plays or not.
Both fans will watch on eagerly, in a tie that has produced some great matches in recent times. Liverpool will be forced to work hard if they want a result against the blues but it’s not entirely out of the question. With Liverpool looking a transformed side under Klopp I’m sure this game will make for a thrilling watch.
Predicted XI: Mignolet Clyne Lovren Skrtel Moreno Can Milner Lucas Firmino Coutinho Benteke
Written by Luke Houston