LONDON- Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Manchester City he will “unleash” the power of the Anfield crowd when they meet today.Rodgers wants to take full aantage of fired-up fans hoping the Premier League leaders can secure their first top-flight title since 1990.
“We will unleash the supporters yet again on our opponents,” said Rodgers. “I sense a real nostalgia about the place, a feeling of the old Liverpool. It will drive us, not hold us back.”
Liverpool won the league championship 11 times between 1972 and 1990, when they won the last of their 18 titles.
The Reds, who have five games remaining, take a four-point aantage over third-placed City into Sunday’s game, but the 2011-12 champions have two games in hand.
Rodgers, whose side have a 100% home record this season against the four top-seven teams they have faced, said securing a Champions League place remains the priority because of the financial reward it brings.But he added: “If we can continue to play well and get a little bit of luck then hopefully we can make [the fans’] dreams come true. We will give it absolutely everything.”
Pellegrini has also claimed that it is “not a game that will decide the title”, but a win for either side would alter the picture significantly, as both sides know that they will be champions if they win all of their remaining matches. City, who trail Liverpool by four points with two games in hand, received a huge fillip prior to the game with the news that top scorer Sergio Aguero will be fit to play after five games out with a hamstring problem.
Apart from centre-back Matija Nastasic, who has an ongoing knee complaint, Pellegrini has a fully fit squad to select from, while left-back Jose Enrique (also knee) will be the only absentee for the home side.
Strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have been integral to Liverpool’s title tilt, contributing 49 of the club’s 90 top-flight goals this term.
Indeed, Suarez needs just three more to overtake the record of 31 goals in a 38-game Premier League season, which is held jointly by Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Meanwhile, Chelsea visit Swansea where they have been held to draws in each of their previous two League fixtures. Elswhere, Hull take Sheff United from League One in FA Cup semi at Wembley.