Boxing Day provides a real high-stakes meeting this season as Manchester City and Liverpool, sharing space in the top three, meet at the Etihad Stadium. The hosts are a point behind visitors Liverpool and boast a perfect home record, scoring 35 goals along the way – both sides share a trait for being far superior at home, though the visitors banished the away day blues with a 5-0 demolition of Spurs recently. City are in fine form, having only dropped 2 points (away to Southampton) during their previous five matches, whilst the Reds’ defeat in Hull seems a distant memory with December having since provided four convincing victories. Manuel Pellegrini and Brendan Rodgers are both managing sides who are scoring for fun at the moment – Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has had no equal during recent weeks whilst Alvaro Negredo looks far more than merely a supporting act for the injured Sergio Aguero. Supporters of both sides will have eyes on little more than this crucial encounter on Thursday but, within the breakaway group at the top of the league, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Everton all appear likely to pick up wins – City face Palace and Swansea in their next two so may feel they can approach the tie with a degree of freedom. The Reds follow the City match with a trip to Stamford Bridge, before hosting Hull, and supporters recognise that this is a huge period for a Liverpool side who last beat City at the Etihad under Rafa Benitez and are yet to reveal themselves as pretenders or true title contenders.
Match Preview originally published at: http://www.theredmentv.com/blog/p/14984.
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