Apart from a slight dip in form around mid September, where Manchester City lost three times in four games, it has been otherwise a near perfect season for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Since their 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the White Hart Lane, City remain unbeaten in their last five league games, and nine in all competitions.
As a result, the Citizens are holding the top spot in the league table, sharing same points with Arsenal, and bettering them only in goal difference.
However, unlike Arsenal, City’s biggest strength have been their impressive home record, where they registered five wins out of six, most of any team in the league.
And they’ve been scoring for fun at home, managing 19 goals so far. It is indeed surprising that Pellegrini’s side have struggled to break the opposition defence while playing away, managing only seven goals, lowest of all the top four teams.
On Saturday, they face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at home, where they remain unbeaten against the Reds since 2008/09.
Liverpool suffered their first defeat under the new manager when they were beaten 2-1 by Crystal Palace at Anfield last time out.
Klopp wasn’t particularly impressed with the support he received during the match. A section of Liverpool fans left the stadium early after the Reds had conceded a second goal in the 81st minute against Palace.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager will be looking for a strong reaction from his team. But with several key players still missing through injury, the Reds are facing a difficult task of becoming the second team after West Ham to return with full three points from the Etihad.
Manchester City team news
Sergio Aguero and David Silva are nearing full fitness but the fixture may have come to soon for them.
Vincent Company picked up a knock whilst on international duty. Likewise, Fabian Delh, Samir Nasri, Pablo Zabaleta and Wilfried Bony all remain doubts.
Former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is expected to lead the attack, in case both Aguero and Bony fail to recover. The England international will face Liverpool for the first time since moving to Manchester over the summer.
Liverpool team news
Daniel Sturridge has returned to full fitness after missing Liverpool’s last seven games in all competitions. The striker claims that he “raring to go” which means Klopp could be tempted to use him from the off.
Jordon Ibe and James Milner have also recovered from minor knocks and both should be included for the game.
However, skipper Jordan Henderson and Jon Flangan are still sidelined.
Mamadou Sakho picked up an injury against Palace that will see him miss at least two months’ of action. A big and possibly the last chance for Dejan Lovren to impress here.
Manchester City possible starting lineup
Hart, Kolarov, Kompany, Otamendi, Sagna, Fernando, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Toure, Navas, Sterling
Liverpool possible starting lineup
Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Leiva, Can, Milner, Coutinho, Lallana / Firmino, Benteke
Manchester City vs Liverpool: Key Stats
-1 – Liverpool are the only team in top 10 with a negative goal difference.
6 – Manchester City are unbeaten at home against Liverpool in the Premier League in last six games.
12 – City have won 12 of their last 13 home matches.