Manchester City vs Liverpool Preview

When: Monday August 15, 2014 at 3:00 PM (EST)
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester, UK
Where to Watch: NBCSN, NBCSN Live Extra

Referee: Michael Oliver

Manchester City:
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
Position Last Season: Champions (1st)
Expected Lineup:

Kolarov Demichelis Kompany Clichy
Fernando          Toure
Nasri                Aguero                    Silva

Injuries: Negredo (Metatarsal)

Team News: Manchester City have been irrepressible at the Etihad for quite some time and they will need to continue that trend if they want to get anything out of this game. They won last weekend but should have done much better because Liverpool is an entirely different kettle of fish compared to Newcastle. City, however, have a lot of great talent in their squad and will be sturdy with Fernando breaking up play in the midfield. He will be an important player in this game as the midfield battle will be one of the deciding factors of the day.

Player to Watch: Fernando. Liverpool like to attack and he will need to be on top of his game if City’s midfield are going to make a mark on this game.

Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Position Last Season: Runners Up (2nd)
Expected Lineup:

Manquillo Skrtel Lovren Moreno
Henderson           Allen
Sterling                                   Coutinho

Injuries: Lallana (Knee), Agger (Knee), Flanagan (Knee), Assaidi (Knee)

Team News: Liverpool will need to get past a tough Southampton game and learn from their mistakes if they want to leave Manchester with any points this Monday. Last week, Liverpool had very little movement in midfield and this allowed Southampton’s pressing game to wreak havoc on the rest of the squad. Liverpool cannot allow that to happen this week, especially against a team like Manchester City. Joe Allen coming into the squad changed the way the team worked and I expect him to start over Lucas Leiva. A midfield trio of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, and Allen have the legs necessary to press and feed the ball to the forward trio of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling, and Phil Coutinho. I expect Lazar Markovic to make his debut at some point in the second half and newcomer Alberto Moreno to replace the fading Glen Johnson.

Player to Watch: Henderson. He ran the midfield last week and got a magnificent assist. His engine will be essential Monday, and if he is able to play his game, Liverpool will control the midfield.

Prediction: Liverpool win, 2-1. Recently, every game between these two has been exciting and this one will be no exception. It’s always a tense meeting and it’ll come down an error, similar to Kompany’s mishit to Coutinho last season. Also, calling a draw would be a cop out.

About Jeff Snyder

Jeff Snyder is a professional writer and has been in sports broadcast for almost half a decade. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheJackAnty.