Liverpool V Man City at Anfield : Match Preview
Liverpool V Man City - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Henderson banking on Reds' energy
Midfielder Jordan Henderson believes Liverpool can more than match Manchester City when it comes to quality, but believes the Reds' pressing game and home advantage may give them the edge on Sunday.
Brendan Rodgers' side were unlucky to lose 2-1 in their first meeting on Boxing Day, but most City players who left the Etihad Stadium that night were of the opinion the Merseysiders were the best team they had faced on home soil.
On their own turf Liverpool are an even more fearsome proposition as they have dropped just five points there all season, a home record bettered only by City themselves.
And Henderson believes a fervent Anfield crowd will only spur on the players more to make a significant statement against their title rivals.
"They have some very good players. Yaya Toure is one of them, but they have other great players in other areas so everyone needs to make sure they are ready and I am sure we will be and right up for it," said the England international.
"We have some good players ourselves and if everyone performs to the best of their ability we will have a good chance.
"We have a lot of young lads in the team with a lot of energy and great work-rate, so I think that has really showed, pressing high up the pitch.
"Steven Gerrard has been fantastic in the deeper (midfield) role, expressing his passing, and that has been a major point for us.
"We are full of confidence at the minute and we are playing some great stuff and working really well for each other.
"We have to keep doing what we have done all season.
"We have been really high on confidence and flying all season, so hopefully we will keep that going and give everything for the game.
"It is a big game, but at the same time we have five big games left.
"It is very important game, it is a massive one, but we have to treat it as another game.
"The fans have always been brilliant, but I am sure it will be bouncing again on Sunday and they give us a little advantage."
Centre-back Daniel Agger returns to Liverpool's squad on Sunday. The defender missed last weekend's win at West Ham with a knee problem but is fit again to challenge Mamadou Sakho for his first-team place.
Only long-term injured left-back Jose Enrique remains unavailable for selection.
Manchester City top scorer Sergio Aguero could return for Sunday's trip. The Argentina striker has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury but has been back training with the squad for the past week.
Defender Matija Nastasic (knee) is the only notable absentee with midfielder Yaya Toure having overcome a knock suffered in last week's win over Southampton.
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini expects to have to fight fire with fire.
The eagerly-anticipated meeting of the title rivals at Anfield pits the competition's top two goalscoring teams against each other.
Liverpool have struck 90 goals in their 33 games with third-placed City having notched 84 from their 31.
Some of City's notable victories have seen them score seven against Norwich, six against Arsenal and 11 across two games against Tottenham.
Last month they put five past Fulham and beat neighbours Manchester United 3-0 before they hit another four when Southampton visited the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool have hit form since the turn of the year and their current run of nine successive wins has yielded 32 goals.
Asked if he was concerned about the Reds' attacking threat, Pellegrini said: "It's exactly the concern Liverpool will have against our team, if they want to be an attacking team - and they are an attacking team.
"But I think we've done very well (defensively), Southampton didn't have many chances to score.
"Of course if you defend with 10 players near your box, you are not going to have space for the other team.
"But the most important thing about these two teams is they play attractive, offensive football. Both teams are very close for this."
Pellegrini feels his side have not received enough credit for their defensive work in recent months.
City have had problems at the back this season but they have conceded only twice in their last seven league matches.
Pellegrini said: "I never divide the team in the way I think.
"There is a team with 11 players and the 11 players must know how to defend and the 11 players must know how to attack.
"Both teams have scored a lot of goals during the season but if we are with Liverpool and Chelsea at the top of the table, it is because we also know how to defend."
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