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Men's Team

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Sane and Stones return as Blues make two changes

ON THE MARK: Bernardo celebrates after his goal with skipper Sergio Aguero

ON THE MARK: Bernardo celebrates after his goal with skipper Sergio Aguero

Leroy Sane and John Stones return to City’s starting XI for the top-of-the-table clash with Liverpool, but Kevin De Bruyne starts on the bench..

Oleksandr Zinchenko is rested and Riyad Mahrez drops to the bench.

LIVE: City v Liverpool Matchday Centre

Team:

Ederson, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Laporte, Fernandinho, Bernardo, D Silva, Sane, Sterling, Aguero

Subs: Muric, De Bruyne, Walker, Gundogan, Mahrez, Otamendi, G Jesus

Formation: 4-3-3

It looks as though Aymeric Laporte may drop into the left-back slot for this evening’s game.

With no recognised left-back, Laporte looks the obvious choice – plus he has played there before.

If so, John Stones will partner skipper Vincent Kompany with Danilo again getting the nod at right-back.

Fernandinho will pin the midfield trio alongside David Silva and Bernardo Silva, with Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero the attacking trio.

 

RAHEEM: Looking for first goal v Reds

 

Blues need three points

The Blues’ title challenge would not end if Liverpool win this evening, but it will be that much harder to catch the Reds.

A draw would mean the champions still trailed by seven points and wouldn’t be the end of the world – but a win would end the Merseysiders’ unbeaten league record and slash their lead to just four points – a huge difference and potentially damaging for Jurgen Klopp’s men confidence-wise.

 

THE WORLD AWAITS: City host Liverpool tonight in the biggest game of the Premier League season so far

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City v Liverpool: The World is Watching

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Liverpool XI:

Stats and milestones:

City are traditionally strong starters in the New Year, winning 11 out the last 12 games played at the start of the year.

The stats for this fixture have never been too rosy for the Blues over the years and have improved little in more recent times – our 5-0 win over the Reds last season was the only win in the last 11 meetings.

Liverpool have won just one of nine league meetings at the Etihad (2015), though they did win at the Etihad last season in the Champions League and in the League Cup in 2012.

City are hoping to end a run of 10 games in all competitions without a clean sheet – our worst run since February 2015.

PEP v KLOPP: Tale of the tape

BIG GAME: City and Liverpool clash tonight in a top-of-the-table encounter

A City win this evening would be Pep Guardiola’s 100th win as Blues manager (all competitions).

Sergio Aguero is looking to net his seventh successive home goal against the Reds – a Premier League record

 

Men's Team

McMahon on Guardiola, Klopp and Fernandinho

BIG GAME: Steve McMahon talks all things City and Liverpool ahead of tonight's match

Steve McMahon joined Manchester City on Christmas Eve in 1991 having spent six hugely successful years with Liverpool where he won three league titles and two FA Cups – including a double in the 1985-86 season - playing 277 times and scoring 50 goals. He spent three years at Maine Road, playing 94 times.

Former City and Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon discusses the big game...

Men's Team

Rhapsody in Blue v Heavy Metal Football

BIG GAME: City and Liverpool clash tonight in a top-of-the-table encounter

Manchester City’s Etihad clash with Liverpool not only stands as the most eagerly-awaited match of the season, it also serves up several fascinating sub-plots – not least the latest match-up between rival managers Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

A look at the two managers and their contrasting styles...

Media Watch

Media: Liverpool buildup and transfer speculation

MEDIA WATCH: The press have had their say ahead of tonight's big game

Anticipation is rising ahead of tonight’s big game between City and Liverpool – and, as ever, there’s plenty of transfer speculation...

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from across this morning's back pages