Liverpool play host to Manchester City at Anfield this afternoon, needing a win to keep their title challenge going. Leaders Manchester United are eight points in front, but have played one game more.
Manchester City boss Mark Hughes may be feeling some pressure as boss of the so-called richest club, but his history as a player for both Everton and Manchester United suggest he’ll be putting even more effort into planning this one.
Rafa Benitez has picked Fernando Torres to start up front. With Steven Gerrard injured and Xabi Alonso suspended, he had limited choice in midfield – Javier Mascherano and Lucas start. Dirk Kuyt, Albert Riera and Yossi Benayoun will be looking to get amongst the goals
Fabio Aurelio is on the bench, with Benitez perhaps considering introducing him as a midfielder as the match goes on. His normal left-back role is filled by Andrea Dossena. Captain for the day Carragher will partner Skrtel in defence.
City keeper Shay Given will be hoping for a better day than the last time he faced Liverpool. He was in goal for Newcastle when they were on the wrong end of a 5-1 demolition by the Reds in December. Last time City met Liverpool was in October, with two goals from Torres and a third from Kuyt giving Liverpool three points after being 2-0 down.
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 23 Carragher, 37 Skrtel, 2 Dossena, 15 Benayoun, 20 Mascherano, 21 Lucas, 11 Riera, 9 Torres, 18 Kuyt
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 4 Hyypia, 12 Aurelio, 19 Babel, 24 Ngog, 26 Spearing, 31 El Zhar
Manchester City: 37 Given, 2 Richards, 22 Dunne, 4 Onuoha, 25 Bridge, 5 Zabaleta, 34 De Jong, 33 Kompany, 7 Ireland, 39 Bellamy, 10 Robinho
Subs: 1 Hart, 15 Garrido, 12 Vassell, 24 Evans, 11 Elano, 40 Weiss, 20 Caicedo
Referee: Phil Dowd