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Liverpool v Man City: Talking Points

BACK IN THE GAME: Fernandinho

BACK IN THE GAME: Fernandinho

Sergio Aguero's return, City's Anfield jinx and Philippe Coutinho's absence feature in our Liverpool v Man City talking points.

1Aguero returns

After a four-game suspension, Pep Guardiola will be hoping Sergio Aguero returns with batteries fully recharged for the trip to Anfield.

With 16 goals from 19 games, the Argentinian striker has been in excellent goal-scoring form this campaign and is set for his best season haul yet, but while his record against Liverpool is far from prolific, he has managed four goals in nine appearances plus a penalty in the 2016 Capital One Cup final shoot-out.

With two appearances from the bench, he averages one goal against the Reds every 169 minutes and he has been on the winning side in three of the nine meetings in league and cup.

In his absence, the Blues have won three games and lost one, scoring nine goals which will please Guardiola.

2 Time to end Anfield jinx

It’s been 13 years since City last won at Anfield and the Blues have won there just once in 35 years – a truly awful record. The Blues have played Liverpool on their own soil 30 times during that painful period, drawing 11 times and losing 18 in all competitions.

Last season saw City fans leave Merseyside with a familiar feeling of disappointment having seen the Blues comprehensively beaten 3-0 – just days after beating the Reds in the Capital One Cup final.

This will be Pep’s first visit to Anfield as a manager and he will no doubt relish the occasion – but he will look to outwit his former Bundesliga rival Jurgen Klopp who guided his team to a league double over City last term.

Liverpool have only dropped four points from a possible 24 at home this season, winning six and drawing two of their eight fixtures and they are also the Premier League’s top home scorers.

But the Blues have an impressive record on the road, too with seven wins out of nine so far away from the Etihad so it should be an entertaining game with, dare we suggest, a few goals….

3 Coutinho ruled out?

If there’s one player City would be relieved to not have to face at Anfield, it is Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian midfielder has been a constant thorn in the Blues’ side since he joined Liverpool in 2013 – during that time he has scored on five separate occasions in league and cup.

He seems to thoroughly enjoy facing City and was integral in the 4-1 Etihad drubbing Klopp’s side handed out last season when the hosts were three goals down by the break.

Coutinho has been out with an ankle injury since the end of November and had targeted this fixture for his return – however Klopp revealed he may need another week before he will be considered for selection.

The loss of Coutinho and defender Joel Matip is a blow Klopp’s side, but their form has been impressive during their absence so the task for Pep’s men won’t be any easier…

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