Mancini to get back to winning ways and maintain home dominance

Games always come thick and fast over the Christmas and New Year period and that may be a blessing for City and Mancini. The current League leaders welcome Liverpool to the Etihad stadium looking to get their Premier League back on track and quickly banish memories of the last batch of games, which have seen City take just the single point from their last two games. 

Overall the history between the two clubs favours the visitors with them winning half of the meetings and City only a quarter. When the teams met earlier on in the year the result was a 1-1 draw with Kompany scoring with his head from a corner only for Lescott to divert the ball past Hart two minutes later. The last time game against Liverpool saw the Citizens roll out 3-0 winners and Mancini will be looking for similar this time around. With United not playing until Wednesday it gives City a chance to go three points clear for a few hours at least. 

Kiki Musampa scored an absolute blinder against Liverpool in Stuart Pearces first win which kick started that impressive run up the table and toward a European place in 2005. Eventually we were denied that place by a missed Robbie Fowler penalty but the fact we made it to that point was because of that epic result. 

A few years earlier in January 2001 City said goodbye to their inspirational captain Andy Morrison who turned out in a City shirt for the final time against Liverpool in a 1-1 draw. Morrison was there and City’s rock during the most turbulent time in the clubs history and a little over a decade on and look at where we are now.

That is particularly poignant too as it was Liverpool, in the last Premiership game of 1996, that relegated us. Needing a win going into the final game City went down 2-0 and managed to claw back to get the draw. With fellow strugglers Southampton and Coventry also getting draws home to Wimbledon and Leeds respectively it was City that went down on inferior goal difference, that was the last game also for Curle and Quinn. That relegation would signal a exile of City from top flight football until the start of the 2000-01 season. 

Our post war history against Liverpool has not been great with two big defeats in 1982 5-0 in the april and then 5-2 over the Christmas period of the next season. In fact the away game of that 2-2 relegation in 1996 was infact a 6-0 drubbing, which makes the end of season result for the club harder to take. 

In the late 1920’s to late 1930’s were our best times against the Merseysiders though winning the title in 1937 and Liverpool 5-1 and 5-0 in the process, a 5-0 win in 1925 and a 6-1 away win in 1929. Interestingly enough it was almost 100 years ago to the day that Manchester City played Liverpool on home soil. January 6th, 1912, only a few days out, saw City on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline. However that season City, Liverpool, United and Tottenham all finished in the bottom half of the table with Blackburn winning the title and Everton a close second!

I think it will be fair to expect Dzeko, Kolarov and Nasri to be dropped for this game after an unimpressive performance against Sunderland and Clichy, Silva and Balotelli to start. Liverpool welcomed back Gerrard on Friday night but as a City fan I would be more worried about Bellamy who will be looking to impress against his old club and Andy Carroll who always seems to find goals against us. 

City starting 11: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Milner, Barry, DeJong, Silva, Aguero and Balotelli.

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