Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne could face Liverpool, says Pep Guardiola

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While both teams will need to be on top of their games across the field, here are three pivotal areas which could see the game swing in either Liverpool or Manchester City's favour.

The last meeting between the sides was 0-0 at Anfield in October, when Riyad Mahrez missed a late penalty - how costly that looks now!

"We have to be prepared as good as possible, we have to be fearless, we have to be full of desire, angry, like in all the other games". Pep Guardiola's famous "Centurions" are not far below Liverpool as they are just 7 points behind them. Here at home we will try to beat them again.

Guardiola has said it would be "almost impossible" for City to defend their Premier League title if they drop points when Liverpool visit the Etihad on Thursday due of the strength of the league leaders.

"Against Liverpool it's an extremely exciting game and a very big challenge against their three men up front. We played many times against them a year ago, they know us and we know them, so it will be a massive game, enjoyable to watch, enjoyable to play and let's see who will win".

"We play the way that the game tells us to play", he added. Every living soul that comes into the stadium on Thursday has to be ready to fight and give it to them.

Guardiola has previously spoken of how Liverpool's attackers "scare" him.

"It's better to be that team than what we are right now", he said.

Questions are being asked of City after they suffered three defeats in the space of four games in December but Guardiola is not entertaining the prospect of another loss.

Despite a recent poor run of form from Manchester City that benefited Liverpool, they are a squad with world class players who can change the shape of a tie within moments.

Guardiola, not Klopp, has been the one tinkering with tactics heading into their matchups.

Even at this stage of the season it appears to be a game the champions can ill afford not to win, with City seven points adrift of Liverpool.

"I just can't see how they can stop Liverpool from scoring goals". If we will be able to do that better then we'll win the game.

Liverpool FC are the only Premier League team still unbeaten in the English top flight following 17 victories and three stalemates. Liverpool is seeking its first top-flight title since 1990, and its 19th overall.

"With the position of Liverpool, if we drop points then it is over, it is finished; it would be nearly impossible", said Guardiola after Sunday's 3-1 win at Southampton.

While City wait on Kevin De Bruyne, Klopp must decide whether to throw in James Milner, who missed the Boxing Day win over Newcastle with a minor muscle injury and returned to full training on Tuesday.

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