Former Premier League star Craig Burley believes that Manchester City will secure a win over Liverpool in their clash at the Etihad on Saturday evening.
Speaking to ESPN FC, the 44-year-old insisted that the home side boast the superior midfield options, and that will ultimately make the difference.
It remains to be seen as to whether or not striker Sergio Aguero can recover in time after suffering with a hamstring injury in recent weeks, as reported by The Manchester Evening News, but Burley is adamant that City still have enough quality in their side to pick up all three points.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are currently joint top of the Premier League table along with Arsenal, with both sides locked at 26 points apiece after 12 games.
In contrast, despite starting with a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions after being appointed coach last month, Jurgen Klopp suffered his first loss as Liverpool manager prior to the international break after Crystal Palace’s victory at Anfield.
As a result, the German tactician will be desperate to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, but they face a difficult task in doing so as City have looked impressive so far this year despite losing key players to injury.
David Silva is also closing in on a return after suffering a fitness problem on international duty, as noted by ESPN, and so it will arguably create a selection headache for Pellegrini who must decide on who to drop in order to bring the Spaniard and Aguero back into his starting line-up if they are fit enough to feature.
Yaya Toure could well drop further back in order to make space for the pair, and that will also help the hosts in their attempt to control proceedings and dictate possession against the Reds this weekend.
It is an important game for both sides with regards to their respective objectives this season, but Burley is convinced that the midfield battle will be key and it is one that he sees Liverpool losing on Saturday.