Manchester City host Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, hoping to get over their Champions Leagues woes with a victory that would put them back up to second place. Liverpool beat City in a tight and cagey affair earlier this year and Pep will be hoping to do a poor record against them right, as well as getting one over his arch rival Jurgen Klopp.
What has become an increasingly strange occurrence, Manchester City have no fresh injury concerns with only Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan sidelined. Vincent Kompany didn’t make the squad for the trip to Monaco – despite being in training for what is two weeks now – and could possibly make a return to the match day squad tomorrow. Nicolas Otamendi could come back into the side after being rested for Aleks Kolarov while a rotation in the full-back positions is likely.
Yaya Touré’s welcome return
Yaya Touré was surprisingly left out the starting eleven against Monaco earlier this week and never did come in the second half either. The Ivorian has played a lot of football this calendar year, even for someone with his remarkable levels of fitness and professionalism.
But against Liverpool, I’d expect Pep to bring back one of our best players of the season and hopefully he can produce a much better performance than Fernandinho managed in the same role against Monaco. Our build-up and consequently our attack is much better with Touré in the side and his superb big game performances this season should provide the confidence he will need against a Liverpool side who are unbeaten against the Premier League’s top six.
Should De Bruyne be dropped?
Another strange development at Manchester City is Kevin De Bruyne. He hasn’t played well in recent weeks and there was a lot of concern aired over him following City’s Champions League exit. The Belgian appears slow, tired and just not himself, and worry signs are no doubt all over everybody’s face. But can City afford to drop him? I don’t think so.
With Gundogan out and Samir Nasri out on loan, there is no definitive back-up for him. Of course De Bruyne plays a lot deeper these days but Fernando, Delph and even Fernandinho don’t compare in offensive output to the previously mentioned Gunodgan and Nasri. Even when he isn’t on top form De Bruyne can still heavily influence a game and he still manages to churn out chances and shots. In all honesty, City can’t afford to do without him.
Until the end of March, the City Store is marking down some iconic Retro Shirts to £20 (£18 for Cityzens).
Make sure you grab one!