Man City v Liverpool – Early Team News

Manchester City’s caretaker boss Stuart Pearce has named Ben Thatcher in his squad for the game against Liverpool today. Thatcher had been out with a hamstring injury for the last four game.

Ex-red Steve McManaman has a calf injury and Shaun Wright-Phillips has a knee injury and so both miss the game. Also missing with knee injuries are Sun Jihai and Trevor Sinclair. Paul Bosvelt missed last weekend’s game against Charlton for "family reasons", but is back in the squad for today’s game.

Rafael Benitez will need to make at least one change to the team that overcame Juventus in some style on Tuesday. Milan Baros – the subject of a possible illegal approach by Valencia – is suspended for today’s fixture. He’s likely to be replaced by Fernando Morientes – cup-tied for the Champions League, and only just back from injury in any case.

Xabi Alonso was included in the Champions League squad on Tuesday, but wasn’t selected. Just back from a broken ankle, he played 45 minutes for the reserves on Wednesday, but is omitted from today’s squad. Benitez wants him to stay behind and train in a bid to boost his match-fitness for Wednesday’s Champions League return against Juventus.

Goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek has missed Liverpool’s last two games through injury, and could take over from 19-year-old Scott Carson.

Liverpool’s striker problems could soon be alleviated further with news that Frenchman Djibril Cisse could be fit to play a reserve game in as little as 10 days’ time. His recovery from a double fracture in his leg has been much quicker than expected and he’s been training with the rest of the squad for some time now.


Manchester City (from): James, Weaver, Mills, Onouha, Dunne, Distin,
Sommeil, Jordan, Thatcher, Croft, Bosvelt, Reyna, Flood, Barton,
Sibierski, Musampa, Fowler, Macken, B Wright-Phillips.

Liverpool (from): Dudek, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Pellegrino, Traore,
Luis Garcia, Gerrard, Biscan, Riise, Morientes, Le Tallec, Nunez,
Smicer, Carson, Warnock, Welsh, Potter.