Ahead of their two teams meeting at the Etihad Stadium this evening, Roberto Mancini and Kenny Dalglish has both criticised the amount of games Premier League teams have to play at this time of year, as Bet365 bookmaker offer an exclusive free bet for betting on tonight’s football.
Tonight’s fixture between Manchester City and Liverpool takes place just 48 hours after City’s trip to Sunderland, while Liverpool have had two more days to recover after they played Newcastle on Friday evening.
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Referring to his need to leave players out for the defeat to Sunderland on Sunday, Mancini said: “I changed six or seven players because I trust all my players, and also if I change six, seven players, they know what they should do on the pitch.”
“Because we play two games in 48 hours, it’s impossible to play the same players.”
On this topic, Liverpool manager Dalglish admitted: “There has to be a bit of common sense, and a game on the first and third [of January] is a bit unreasonable really.”
“There has to be a reasonable amount of time for players to recover. I know people will say he (Mancini) has a massive squad and enough to field two teams but you have to take the players into consideration because they are the ones who are the main attraction.”
The fixture schedule is what it is though and Manchester City will have to dust themselves down and get ready to host Liverpool this evening.
They could certainly do with the win after the draw at West Brom and defeat at Sunderland in their last two games. They may well have managed to hang on to top spot still, but Mancini will want a return to winning ways.
As for Liverpool, they will hope to take advantage of a tired City side as they look to push themselves into the Premier League top four.
Looking at the team news for this one, City could welcome back striker Mario Balotelli, while Luis Suarez is also able to return after serving a one-match ban.
The action gets underway this evening at 8pm.