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Man City V Liverpool at Etihad Stadium : Match Preview
Updated published : 02 Feb 2013 13:01:19
Man City V Liverpool - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Kompany still absent for City
Manchester City are again without captain Vincent Kompany for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.
The champions are hopeful Matija Nastasic (knee), who could only make the bench at QPR in midweek, will be fit to start, otherwise midfielder Javi Garcia may again have to deputise.
Right-back Maicon (knee) is back in training and could soon be available while fellow defender Micah Richards (knee) hopes to return this month. Midfielder Yaya Toure and defender Kolo Toure are still on international duty.
Liverpool's recent run of good form was undermined by a shock FA Cup loss at League One Oldham last weekend.
But they responded with a positive display in a 2-2 draw at Arsenal in midweek, a game attended by Mancini, and the City boss reckons Brendan Rodgers is doing a good job at Anfield.
Mancini spoke to Rodgers soon after he took over at City with a view to appointing him as his assistant but the Northern Irishman went on to take charge at Swansea and moved to Liverpool last summer.
Mancini said: "Three years ago before David (Platt), I talked with him but for me it was easier to take David because I played with him, I knew him very well and David spoke Italian.
"But I was impressed with Brendan, I met him in Milan.
"I spoke about him with our chief scout and also with (then chief executive) Garry Cook.
"He impressed me because he knows his football very well. He showed he is a good manager in the last two years.
"I'm not surprised he went to Liverpool because he's a good manager."
New signing Philippe Coutinho will not be in the squad for Liverpool.
The 20-year-old Brazilian has briefly returned to Milan after Wednesday's switch from Inter and will not return until next week.
Left-back Jose Enrique could start having made his comeback from a hamstring injury in the midweek draw at Arsenal.
Assistant manager Colin Pascoe insists they have no concerns over their defensive capabilities despite some recent high-profile slip-ups.
The Reds were 2-0 up at Arsenal on Wednesday, only to concede twice within four minutes to draw, and prior to that League One Oldham scored three times to knock them out of the FA Cup.
Rodgers said he wanted at least four points from matches against the Gunners and City, so that means anything less than a win would mean they fall short of that target.
However, one startling statistic from Liverpool's season is that they are yet to beat any team in the Premier League's top 10.
Asked if that put the pressure on, Pascoe replied: "It does, but we will approach it the same way we approach every game - to go out and win.
"Manchester City are the champions and everyone wants to beat them even though Manchester United are top at the moment.
"Against the so-called big clubs - Man City at home, Manchester United at home - we played well. Even Everton away we could have won and we could have got something out of Tottenham.
"We should have got something out of Manchester United at Old Trafford as well and on Wednesday it was a great game at Arsenal.
"The performances against those clubs could easily have brought us more points."