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City PL2 v Liverpool: Key battles

HORSY: City's reliable right-back in training ahead of the trip to Southampton

HORSY: City's reliable right-back in training ahead of the trip to Southampton

City welcome Liverpool to the Academy Stadum for a battle between second and third on Friday night but where will it be decided?

After comprehensive victories on the road at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, top spot is within City's sights.

However, they will have to play superbly if they are to beat Liverpool, who sit in third in the Premier League 2 table and are also breathing down the neck of leaders Everton.

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Although much of City's success so far has come through the middle of the pitch, this could be a match that is decided on the wings.

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Horsfield v Wilson

Versatile and City's 'Mr. Consistent', James Horsfield is an invaluable cog in Simon Davies' well-oiled machine.

'Horsy' was initially a central midfielder, a position he still enjoys, but is often utilised as a reliable and tough tackling full-back. The Mancunian has even attracted first team attention for his performances over the last 12 months.

As with all members of City sides, Horsfield is comfortable on the ball. In fact, the 20-year-old is often the first port of call when City are looking for an outlet as they begin a period of possession.

He'll need to have his defensive wits about him on Friday night when he comes up against Liverpool star and captain Harry Wilson.

Pacey and direct, Wilson is making up for lost time this season after an injury and a disappointing loan spell at Crewe Alexandra.

The 19-year-old made his full Wales debut at the age of 16 and although he's had his troubles since, he's proved more than a handful for Premier League 2 defences so far this season as his strike against Everton last week proves.

Confused about the rules and format of the Premier League 2? Here’s a handy guide on the competitions our youngsters will play in this season.

Dilrosun v Randall

In the opposite corner of the pitch, City's Dutch winger Javairo Dilrosun will be looking to get the better of Liverpool full-back Connor Randall.

DILROSUN: The City winger has caused problems for several Premier League 2 defences this season with his direct style

It's likely to be a battle in a similar mould to Horsfield v Wilson, as the speed and trickery of Dilrosun comes up against the steady and trustworthy defending of Randall.

Dilrosun's recent goal at Tottenham Hotspur, when the 19-year-old ghosted behind the defence to latch on to a through ball, proves that his movement off the ball is a threat too.

21-year-old Randall is well-built and unlikely to sherk out of a physical challenge, so Dilrosun is going to have to use all his cunning to find a way past the Liverpool-born defender.

We'll have full coverage of City v Liverpool in the Premier League 2 on mancity.com.

After Liverpool, City face Barcelona at the Academy Stadium on Friday 1 November. Visit the ticket office for information on how you can support our future.

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