Liverpool boss Rafe Benitez is still some way from being able to pick his strongest side, but at least today the starting eleven is made of players who play for the first-team on a regular basis.
Glen Johnson isn’t fit, so Jamie Carragher moves across to right-back. But with both Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel fit that doesn’t mean Liverpool are short in the centre of defence. Emilian Insua completes the back-four.
Alberto Aquilani still isn’t considered ready for a start, so Lucas joins Mascherano in the centre of midfield.
David Ngog plays in the Torres role, Fernando still missing as he recovers from that hernia injury. He’ll be getting his support from Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard, and also Ryan Babel.
With Rafa Benitez reportedly needing to lose four players in January, reportedly with an eye on the wage bill, these are the times for the players who get their chances to make sure they take them.
On the bench are some of those returning from injury, with Aquilani joined by Albert Riera, Yossi Benayoun and Fabio Aurelio. Nabil El Zhar is also on the bench, back from a long-term injury.
Mark Hughes doesn’t need to worry about lowering his wage bill, and his side features one-time Liverpool target Gareth Barry, who was reportedly paid far more than Liverpool would have paid him had his deal gone through to play for the Reds. It also features former Red Craig Bellamy.
Kick-off is at 12.45pm.
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 23 Carragher, 22 Insua, 37 Skrtel, 5 Agger, 20 Mascherano, 21 Lucas, 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 19 Babel, 24 Ngog
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 12 Aurelio, 16 Kyrgiakos, 4 Aquilani, 11 Riera, 15 Benayoun, 31 El Zhar
Manchester City: 1 Given, 3 Bridge, 5 Zabaleta, 19 Lescott, 28 Toure, 7 Ireland, 8 Wright-Phillips, 18 Barry, 34 De Jong, 25 Adebayor, 39 Bellamy
Subs: 12 Taylor, 4 Onuoha, 33 Kompany, 6 Johnson, 40 Weiss, 14 Santa Cruz, 32 Tevez
Referee: Phil Dowd