Heavyweight bout on Boxing Day: Top of table Liverpool play Manchester City

Manchester CityManchester City have the best home defensive record in the league, conceding only five goals at the Etihad this season (AP)

Boasting the Premier League's most dangerous attacking units, Manchester City and Liverpool should provide a glut of goals when the title challengers play during Thursday's packed Boxing Day program.

Liverpool is at the top at Christmas for the first time since 2008 after scoring 42 goals.

Only Manchester City has been more lethal in front of goal, with the team a point behind Liverpool and Arsenal in third scoring 51 goals in 17 games.

With Europe's leading leagues on their winter breaks, every Premier League team is in action on Boxing Day.

The festive season has special significance. In the Premier League era 21 seasons the team lording atop the table at Christmas has gone on to win the title 10 times. Seven out of the last nine champions all from 2010 onwards were first on Christmas day.

The last team to miss out on the title after topping the table on December 25 was Liverpool, who incidentally, lead the league on goal difference from Arsenal. Both teams have 36 points, but Liverpool have Luis Suarez while Arsenal have 40m plus 1 and a bruised ego.

The Gunners are also on a four match winless run and have seen their five-point lead wiped out after a devastating loss to Manchester City and sapping draws with Everton and Chelsea.

The top-eight teams are separated by only eight points, with 2012/2013 champions United at the foot of this list with 28.


The short trip to Manchester will be a test of the depth of Liverpool's resources as well as its title credentials with only 17 players fit to travel across the northwest.

"Our squad is very thin at the moment," Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. "None of the guys who have been out have returned."

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