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Starting XI: Man City V Liverpool

Manchester City will host Liverpool in the first big game of the new English Premier League campaign tonight.

The game is the first encounter of last season’s champions with the team that finished runners-up to them.

The ties between the two were among the highlights of the campaign, with City winning 2-1 at home and Liverpool 3-2 at Anfield.

However, all news before tonight’s game circle around Mario Balotelli’s imminent transfer to Liverpool. The former City player won’t be eligible to play but is likely to be in the stands at the Etihad.

Manuel Pellegrini still believes he has thestrongest squad in the league, but his side showed some signs of rustiness in the 3-0 Community Shield defeat to Arsenal as well as in the 2-0 victory over Newcastle.

Liverpool, meanwhile, also didn’t look very convincing in their 2-1 victory over Southampton, and both sides will surely be tested tonight.

City have won 17 of their last 19 home matches in the Premier League, scoring a total of 63 goals at the Etihad last season.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have won impressive 13 of their last 15 league games and scored at least two goals in 14 of their last 15 games. City also scored at least two in their last nine games, so tonight’s encounter should have goals in it.

Pellegrini’s side will draw on their home ground advantage, given that Liverpool have not won a league game at the Etihad stadium since October 2008.

Here's how they line-up:

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis; Fernando, Touré, Nasri, Silva, Jovetić; Džeko

LiverpoolMignolet; Johnson, Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno; Gerrard, Henderson, Allen, Coutinho, Sterling; Sturridg

Who do you think will win tonight’s match? Have your say in the comments section below.

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