Next Up: Man City (h)

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Liverpool are on a roll again in the Premier League after a blip in January.

Two Fernando Torres late shows have sunk both Chelsea and Portsmouth so far in February and now the Reds return to action after the internationals with the visit of the richest club in the world.

City have had a disappointing season full of inconsistency, sitting 9th in the Premier League table, a full 23 points behind the Reds.

Steven Gerrard will miss the Anfield clash with his hamstring injury, although he has returned to training this week and is expected be available for the trip to Madrid next week.

Rafa Benitez’s side have had a nice break since their last action due to FA Cup weekend following the international break. Thankfully no players returned from international duty with any injuries so Benitez has no fresh concerns there.

Xabi Alonso’s one match suspension, coupled with Gerrard’s asbsence, means the midfield is likely to pick itself with South Americans Lucas Leiva and Javier Mascherano expected to pair up, with Benayoun, Riera and Kuyt in more advanced roles behind Torres up front.

Emiliano Insua is back from under 20 duty with Argentina and is in contention to continue where he left off at left back at the turn of the year. Fabio Aurelio though is also back to fitness so Rafa must decide between the two.

The corresponding fixture at Eastland’s earlier in the season saw Dirk Kuyt’s late goal win it for Liverpool as they came from 2-0 down at half time to dramatically win 3-2.

Mark Hughes’ side have new recruits Wayne Bridge, Shay Given, Nigel De Jong and former Red Craig Bellamy available, along with Robinho. Shaun Wright-Philipps suspended for the Blues. City are on an indifferent run of form having lost at Portsmouth last time out but won against Middlesbrough the game before that and lost at Stoke following a wins over Newcastle and Wigan. Like Liverpool they had last weekend off after being dumped out the Cup by Nottingham Forest in the third round.

Ruled out:
Steven Gerrard (injured)
Xabi Alonso (suspended, 5 yellow cards)

Available after missing last match:
Emiliano Insua (back from under 20 duty)
Lucas Leiva (back from 1 match ban)

Likely starting 11: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Benayoun, Riera, Torres.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Hyypia, Skrtel, Agger, Aurelio, Dossena, Babel, Benayoun, Mascherano, Lucas, Riera, Torres, Kuyt, Ngog, Cavalieri, Spearing, El Zhar.

Man City (from): Given, Hart, Schmeichel, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Kompany, Bridge, Garrido, Zabaleta, Elano, Caicedo, Ireland, Robinho, Bellamy, Vassell, Weiss, Logan, Berti, Evans.

Kick off is 3pm (Not on TV in the UK, streams will be available via our forums)
Referee: Phil Dowd

Last season: 1-0 win, Torres [Report]

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