Saturday, December 29, 2007

EPL Match Preview: Manchester City vs LiverpooL:

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is facing a defensive crisis with Sami Hyypia almost certainly unavailable for Sunday's trip to Manchester City.

Hyypia suffered a twisted ankle in the Boxing Day win at Derby, and although Benitez is awaiting reports from his medical team, he has virtually ruled the Finn out of the Premier League clash.

It means Benitez must decide whether to risk Daniel Agger in the match at Eastlands, the young Dane having not played for three months as he recovers from a broken metatarsal.

He has been training for a fortnight and is using specially built-up boots, but his lack of match practice is a concern.

Liverpool have full-back Alvaro Arbeloa fit again after a bout of flu, and he could be switched to partner Jamie Carragher while youngster Jack Hobbs is also on stand-by. Peter Crouch is still suspended.

Meanwhile Elano and Dietmar Hamann will earn immediate recalls as Manchester City look to regain a top four place by beating Liverpool at Eastlands.

City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson left the pair out of Thursday night's 2-2 draw with Blackburn as he attempts to keep his squad fresh over the festive period.

With Michael Johnson (groin) again set to miss out, Eriksson will turn to Elano to provide the inspiration for victory and former Reds star Hamann to subdue his old team-mate Steven Gerrard.


City (from): Hart, Isaksson, Onuoha, Corluka, Sun, Dunne, Richards, Garrido, Ball, Ireland, Hamann, Elano, Fernandes, Geovanni, Petrov, Mpenza, Vassell, Bianchi, Samaras.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Arbeloa, Finnan, Carragher, Hobbs, Riise, Aurelio, Benayoun, Babel, Gerrard, Mascherano, Alonso, Kewell, Voronin, Torres, Kuyt, Lucas, Agger, Itandje.