Manchester Arabia v Liverpool FC

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Post by Arquitecto Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:52 pm



Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli could return for their Barclays Premier League clash against Liverpool.

The Italian was not risked in the New Year's Day defeat at Sunderland due to a slight ankle problem suffered in training.

With no fresh injury concerns, manager Roberto Mancini has a full-strength squad - aside from the absent Carlos Tevez - and will consider changes for the second of two games in just over two days.

Liverpool frustrated then unbeaten City as they held them to a 1-1 draw at Anfield in November.

Since then Liverpool have had some disappointing results of their own but they impressed in a 3-1 defeat of Newcastle last Friday.

Mancini said: "They are in good form, but all the teams are in good form.

"We are in an unlucky moment, but things can change in two days.

"But at the same time we need to think positively for the next game and for the future.

"We play again quickly and we should have good concentration for the next game.

"We have 45 points and we have scored 53 goals, and I think we need another 45 points in the second half.''

Striker Luis Suarez is expected to return to Liverpool's squad after suspension.

The Uruguay international served a one-match ban for Friday's win over Newcastle but is likely to be back in the starting line-up for the clash against the Barclays Premier League leaders.

Captain Steven Gerrard, a goalscorer against Newcastle, has made two substitute appearances totalling 52 minutes after two months out with an ankle infection and could be in contention to start.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insists super-rich City's super-talented squad hold no fears for his side.

The air of invincibility which has enveloped the Premier League leaders for most of the season has evaporated over the festive period.

City have taken just one point from two matches, during which time they have failed to score against West Brom and Sunderland, who inflicted only their second defeat of the campaign at the Stadium of Light yesterday.

They were second best in their encounter at Anfield in late November but escaped with a 1-1 draw and Dalglish draws confidence from all those factors.

"They are a fantastic side but so are we so we are not going to go there and be scared,'' said the Scot, whose team go into the match on the back of a 3-1 win over Newcastle on Friday.

"It is all well and good saying they have loads of money but they have a good team.

"The money they have everyone else would love to have but unfortunately they don't.

"We will go and play whichever 11 they put on the pitch and it doesn't matter how much they cost.

"But we have the utmost respect for what they have done, we will respect and appreciate their ability.

"They are certainly a really difficult side to play against and we have our work cut out but we will work hard and fingers crossed we will come home with a result.''

Manchester City have beaten these opponents only once in their last 13 Premier League meetings.
City have won all nine of their league games at home this season.
Roberto Mancini's men have been the most prolific in the attacking third of the pitch, scoring 53 goals this season.

City had been undefeated until they met Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. They have now lost twice in five matches.
The Eastlands club may have scored the highest number of goals in the league so far, but they have gone two games without scoring a single goal.

Liverpool have the best defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded only 15 goals so far.
If all matches ended at half-time, the Merseyside club would have move up one place to fifth in the standings, whereas City would have fallen to second.

The Reds have won 29 of the Manchester meetings between the sides while the hosts have emerged victorious on only 25 occasions . A further 21 matches have ended as draws.
Liverpool have scored 297 goals against City throughout the course of the two clubs' histories, conceding 207 in the process.

Manchester City Liverpool
Matches Played 19 19
Table Position 1 6
Points 45 34
Goal Difference 37 9
Goals for * 3.1 1.1
Goals against * 0.4 0.8
Last 5 L-D-W-W-L W-D-D-W-W
Last 5 home W-W-W-W-W W-D-W-D-D
Last 5 away L-D-L-D-W D-W-L-W-W


Preferred line-up 4-2-3-1

Doni
Kelly-Skrtel-Agger-Jose

Adam-Spearo
Bellamy-Gerrard-Suarez
Carroll

Kelly over Johnson for 3 reasons as Johnson needs rest, looks a little short on confidence, and Kelly is defensively more stable along with the fact that he is epic in big games.

Adam as he tends to also perform in big games along with the fact that we need his occasional moments of brilliance and surging runs into the box. Spearing is someone who I predict WONT play but he is a MUST in my opinion to anchor and harry the midfield.

Bellamy over Maxi as to me he is better since Maxi doesn't really do much aside from his goals while Bellers with his work rate and technique would provide much more. Suarez on that right to cut in and link up and Carroll who was solid against Newcastle imo should play as plus every time he has done great against City for us.

Doni is obvious.


Prediction is 2-1 City. Sad
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Post by Nishankly Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:21 pm

Same team.

Gerrard for Hendo. And i guess Suarez for Maxi.

And we could challenge them.
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Post by Art Morte Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:25 pm

City didn't lose a game on home turf last year in the BPL, a draw is the best I'm hoping for from this game.
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Post by poolsupporter Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:55 pm

Yet another game that I will be missing.

I feel with Gerrard and Suarez on the pitch we could win this. As has been through most of this season, I expect there to be enough chances created by us. The result will yet again be down to our ability to convert the chances we create.

Missed the Newcastle game, so I'm not sure where we lie in terms of squad choices.
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Post by Red Alert Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:25 am

Reina
Johnson Skrtel Agger Enrique
Spearing
Hendo Adam
Suarez --------------------- Maxi
Carroll

Bellamy on for Maxi around the 70th minute mark.
Gerrard on for Adam at half time.

Quite confident on this one.
If we win, we're equal points to fourth, and 2 points above Arsenal. cheers
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Post by Art Morte Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:05 am

ynwa wrote:
Quite confident on this one.

Really :?:
City have been untouchable at home. We will need one of our best performances of the season to get anything from this game, that's how I feel about it anyway.


Anyone else think we might see a 5-4-1 :?:
Johnson - Skrtel - Carragher - Agger - Enrique
Henderson - Spearing - Adam - Downing
Suarez
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Post by McAgger Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:53 am

@Art 5 man defense is the a very bad idea....Carra hasnt played for awhile and tossing him in against arguably the best side in the league is a big NO NO for me mmmmkay, and why change anything in our defense. Our defense is the best in the league, we shouldn't change the defense imo mmmkay. Starting Gerrard is an absolute must this game and Suarez needs to have one of his great nights if we are to take something from this game mmmkay.
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Post by BeautifulGame Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:22 pm

Happy with a draw.West Brom gave them a hard time at COM.So no reason why cant we can have a go at them either
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Post by iftikhar Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:37 pm

I expect Gerrard to start. True, he has just returned from a LONG injury lay-off; his camio against NUFC underlines his importance.

Suarez will also start, so the question is will Carroll start or will Bellamy take his place!
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Post by Adit Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:50 pm

If Mancity is Manchester Arabia does that make Liverpool Yankipool hmm
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Post by Arquitecto Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:42 pm

Adit wrote:If Mancity is Manchester Arabia does that make Liverpool Yankipool hmm

I guess so... Laughing


OT:
No appeal forthcoming; Saga at its end

thefadotcom TheFA.com
Liverpool will not appeal against Luis Suarez's misconduct charge and his eight match suspension begins tonight

Liverpool released a very strong statement which concluded with:

It is time to put the Luis Suarez matter to rest and for all of us, going forward, to work together to stamp out racism in every form both inside and outside the sport.

It is for this reason that we will not appeal the eight-game suspension of Luis Suarez.

Here's the statement in full:

http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/statement-from-liverpool-fc


Well without what is our best attacker by a mile, our chances are even less as frankly as without the element of his pure flair and ingenuity, I see us running out of ideas in front of goal today and probably hoofing to Carroll's head as usual.

In other words despite my reasons against accepting the ban, I'm just glad this saga can be put to an end as it has tired me and frankly I'm sick of it.

The FA and Patrice Evra have truly angered me.


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Post by Le Samourai Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:49 pm

Sad
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Post by Fahim89 Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:10 pm

MCFC: Hart; Richards, Kompany, K.Toure, Clichy; Barry, Y.Toure, Milner; Silva, Aguero, Dzeko

LFC line-up: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Downing, Henderson, Adam, Spearing, Kuyt; Carroll

Surprising to see no Gerrard & no Bellamy . . . scratch

Subs: Doni, Gerrard, Maxi, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly, Bellamy
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Post by iftikhar Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:09 am

Don't understand why Gerrard & Bellamy didn't start. Suarez aside, these two are our most potent attack.

Could it be that Kenny is preserving them for more winnable games (Oldham, Stoke, Bolton)!!!
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