Man City v Liverpool

Venue: City of Manchester Stadium
Date: Monday, 23 August Kick-off: 2000 BST

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli is expected to overcome the knee injury he suffered on his match-winning debut in the Europa League.
James Milner is in line for his first City appearance, but Aleksandar Kolarov and Jerome Boateng remain sidelined.
Liverpool hope Javier Mascherano will return after missing Thursday's Europa League tie, but Daniel Agger is a doubt with concussion.
Joe Cole begins a three-match ban following his red card against Arsenal.

Man City
Doubtful: Balotelli (knee)
Injured: Boateng (gashed leg), Bridge (toe), Kolarov (ankle)
Suspended: Cole (three matches)

Doubtful: Agger (concussion), Mascherano (calf)
Both sides have enjoyed near-identical starts to the season: a draw in the league against north London opponents who finished in the top four last season, followed by a nervy 1-0 win in the Europa League.
Football is strange... When you think you can win easy, you must have maximum concentration
Man City boss Roberto Mancini
Manchester City were distinctly unimpressive in their season's opener against Tottenham, and manager Roberto Mancini clearly needs the one thing he won't be given - time - to mould his expensively-assembled squad into a cohesive unit.
City looked lightweight upfront at White Hart Lane, with the diminutive trio of Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Shaun Wright-Phillips brushed aside by the Spurs defence. Mario Balotelli enjoyed an exciting cameo against Timisoara and the £24m man's presence up front may invigorate their expected title push.
Even so, if Fernando Torres is finally fit to start, City will no doubt be casting envious glances at a player not even their vast riches could lure away from Anfield.
The draws for both teams last weekend came as a direct result of the performance of their goalkeepers. While Joe Hart earned City a point with a string of stunning saves, Liverpool's Pepe Reina cost his side victory with an out-of-character gaffe in the last minute against Arsenal.
• No fewer than five of the last seven Premier League meetings between these teams have ended all square - including both games last season.
• Only 16 goals have been scored in the last 11 league matches between the sides.
• Their overall head-to-head record in 159 matches is 79 wins for Liverpool, 40 for City and 40 draws.
Man City
• Manchester City won 40 of their 67 points at home last season.
• City have gone three Premier League games without a win and have won just one of their last six league games.
• Craig Bellamy was sent out on loan this week, despite assisting more goals than any other Manchester City player in the league last season (8).
• If Liverpool win, it will be their 2000th victory in league football.
• If selected, Glen Johnson will be playing on his 26th birthday.
• If he recovers from his calf problem, Javier Mascherano will make his 100th career Premier League appearance.


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