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Manchester City v Liverpool preview: Titans clash at Etihad Stadium

Manchester City and Liverpool return to domestic action on Thursday night with a place in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup the reward for the winner.

The Citizens proved too much for Chelsea in the previous round as they ran out 2-0 winners, while Liverpool needed penalties to overcome League One outfit Derby County after a 0-0 draw.

What: Manchester City v Liverpool, EFL Cup
Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
When: 20:00, Thursday 22nd December
How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event
Odds: Man City 10/11, Draw 13/5, Liverpool 3/1

Expect changes at the Etihad

While both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp love to collect as many trophies as possible throughout the campaign, both have been guilty of making numerous changes for their team's respective EFL Cup ties.

They are not the only managers that have done that and will continue to do so, but with the World Cup thrown into the mix, it is anyone's guess as to who will start for the two sides.

The good news for City is that striker Erling Haaland is likely to play some part in Thursday's tie in Manchester, as he has spent the last month training after Norway failed to qualify for Qatar.

Belgium's early exit means that midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been back with the rest of the City squad for the last few weeks, but Guardiola has already confirmed "four or five" of his senior players will absent for the match.

City were eliminated from the EFL Cup in the fourth round last year, and they will hope Haaland can inspire them to victory. The former Borussia Dortmund forward is 11/4 to score first, or 4/5 To Score Anytime.

Liverpool boss Klopp is still without Diogo Jota, Arthur and Luis Diaz through injury, while the German will also have to make changes with many of his squad still on a break.

Like Haaland, Egypt's Mohamed Salah played no part in the World Cup and he is 21/10 to find the back of the net inside 90 minutes.

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Citizens have a point to prove

With the Premier League set to resume on Boxing Day, all eyes are on Arsenal as they try to hold on to their lead at the top of the Premier League table.

The Gunners have a five-point cushion over Guardiola's troops, but an injury to striker Gabriel Jesus has the potential to derail their season.

City will resume league duties against Leeds United on the 28th, and they will be desperate to find their rhythm ahead of that tie.

Guardiola's men lost their final league game before the mid-season break 2-1 to Brentford, while Liverpool got the better of them at Anfield in October.

Thankfully for City, that defeat to the Bees was their first at home since April, and they are available at 9/4 To Win and for Both Teams to Score.

Reds hoping to build on friendly success

Klopp and his squad have spent the last few weeks in Dubai at a warm-weather training camp, and the Reds will hope to reap the rewards in the coming weeks.

Liverpool enjoyed a four-match unbeaten streak before their squad split up to head to Qatar, and they have kept busy by playing two friendlies in the last few days.

While Ligue 1 side Lyon proved too much for them and recorded a 3-1 win, the Reds responded by beating AC Milan 4-1 on Friday.

Salah, Thiago and Darwin Nunez were all on the scoresheet, with the latter scoring two against the Italians.

Klopp was able to name a strong starting XI for the friendly, and while several youngsters are set to start, the signs are good for the Reds.

Liverpool are unbeaten in five matches against the Citizens, while both teams have scored in four of those fixtures.

Over 2.5 goals and Both Teams to Score appeals at 5/6, while over 3.5 goals offers plenty of value at 6/4.

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