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Time for Man City to prove they are going to push Chelsea all the way in the title run in

27 Feb | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Time for Man City to prove they are going to push Chelsea all the way in the title run in

Manuel Pellegrini’s men could close the gap to the league leaders to just two points on Sunday – but will in-form Liverpool prove too strong?

Here is a stat for you: until their 4-1 win at Stoke on February 11th, Manchester City had not won a single Premier League match without Yaya Youre in the side since April 2014. April!

And we are talking about the champions of England here. That may, at first glance, sound like bad news for City. In fact, it is bad news for Liverpool.

Last season’s title contenders face off at Anfield this Sunday, and Toure should be back in the side. But will his presence be enough? A quick look at the form table shows it’s Liverpool who come into the match with the better recent record – in fact they are unbeaten in 18, having not tasted defeat since City’s cross-town neighbors Manchester United hit them for three without reply in mid-December.

By contrast, City’s recent form is patchy. Since their fantastic run of nine wins on the bounce was ended by Burnley just after Christmas, Manuel Pellegrini’s side have won four, drawn a further three, and lost three. As a high-trouser-ed music mogul might say: decidedly average.

They are also fresh from having been torn apart in the Champions League in mid-week by a Barcelona side which we are constantly being told is a shadow of its former, all-conquering self. Of course, Barca’s two goals on the night came from Liverpool’s former star Luis Suarez who is perhaps at last settling into to his new team. What Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers would give to still have the Uruguayan in his team to give them the – ahem – bite they so often lacked up front in the early part of this season.

Still, the Reds boss seems to have made some headway on the scoring front – they have failed to score only twice in their last 18 matches. What’s more, the likes of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge will no doubt have taken heart from another pertinent stat on this weekend’s opponents: City have kept just ONE clean sheet in their last 12 matches.

On the fitness front, City currently boast a clean bill of health, while Liverpool are top of the Premier League injury table with eight first-teamers out, including Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Lucas Leiva, though Gerrard and Henderson could be back for the City match.

For the home side, three points are vital in their charge for a top four slot this season. But for City, a win would see them close up to just two points behind leaders Chelsea. If they are going to really make a fight of this title run in, it needs to start at Anfield on Sunday.