Pearce ready to face the club he hates

Liverpool face Manchester City away on Saturday in a game that’s important to Liverpool for the sake of getting into the Champions League. Liverpool are a point behind Everton, and really must keep winning in order to put the pressure on their local rivals.

Manchester City meanwhile are mid-table, pretty much safe from relegation, and too far from a European place – but to their caretaker boss, Stuart Pearce, it’s an important game.

First of all, Pearce wants the job at City full-time. Good results will help in that aim.

Another reason is that Pearce said in his autobiography a few years back that he hates Liverpool – so this is one game he’d love to win regardless. He said: “I enjoy winning. I am not a great loser and never have been. I see that as a weakness in a person.”

A player who was linked with Liverpool for a long time – a long time ago – looks set to be fit again for Saturday’s match. Ben Thatcher has missed the last four City games with a hamstring injury. Steve McManaman won’t be fit to face the team that he started his career with though – he’s been struggling with a calf injury and won’t be risked. Pearce said: “We have decided that we will hold Steve McManaman back for a while. He is keen to be involved again. We think it is wiser to hold him up and give him a couple of decent training sessions. We will get him back in on Monday with us.”

Joey Barton and Robbie Fowler are another two Liverpool-born players that will be looking forward to the game with Liverpool.