First vs third; Luis Suarez, the best player in the English Premier League at the moment by a mile vs the best attacking side in the league; an attacking force in prime, irresistible form vs a side that do not know how to lose at home. When Liverpool visit Manchester City in the English Premier League on Boxing Day, a mouthwatering, cannot-wait-to-see-this match awaits.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for an 11 pm IST start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The match can also be live streamed online HERE. UK viewers can catch all the action HERE or HERE, with US viewers able to live stream the match HERE. To catch the action via live streaming in Australia click HERE, while North Africa and Middle East viewers can go HERE.
Liverpool are on a four-match winning run in the English Premier League, with 17 goals scored in those victories, 10 of which came from the boot of this-guy-is-just-pure-joy-to-watch Suarez.
While Liverpool have been far, far improved from last season, there is little doubt that the primary reason behind that is the form of Suarez, who has already banged in 19 goals this season, and is seemingly on his way to breaking the Premier League scoring records.
If Suarez keeps up this form for the run of the season, then Liverpool, who lead the table, will definitely be there or thereabouts come the end of the campaign.
"Obviously we're happy and content, but we want to maintain it," Rodgers said of Liverpool's position atop the Premier League table. "From January last year, we've shown we can consistently perform and we can win games on a regular basis.
"I think we've shown we're a very attack-minded team, we've got the most goals this calendar year of any Barclays Premier League team and it's a consequence of all the great work the guys have put in on the training field. They're getting their reward for it, and during Christmas too, which is a very nostalgic time for the country.
"People always want to know where a team is at [in the standings] around Christmas Day, which is great for us because we want to be top, and we are. But, we want to be there at the end of the season too."
The last time Liverpool, who also play Chelsea on Sunday, met one of the clubs expected to contend for the title, they were overrun by Arsenal at the Emirates. And, if anything, this trip to the Etihad against Manchester City will be even more difficult.
Manuel Pellegrini's men, who are a point behind Liverpool in third, have been next to unbeatable in their calling-the-Etihad-a-fortress-would-be-an-understatement home, and City showed just what they are capable of in their last home game - that 6-3 thumping of the Gunners.
That 6-3 match was end-to-end, scoring-opportunity-with-every-attack with both teams at their best going forward. With Liverpool also an attack-minded side, another let's-see-who-can-score-more-goals game could be in the offing.
"We know it's a tough place to go this year," Rodgers said. "Manchester City haven't lost at home and we've won every game at home bar one, so they obviously have confidence at home like us. They score goals, but they also concede goals so it makes for a really good game.
"Our focus is on this game and this game only, and we know our possession level is really high at the moment, so we're looking forward to it."
Try as anyone might, all the focus will be on Suarez, and if he can continue the ridiculous scoring run that he is on at the moment. Pellegrini tried his best to shift the spotlight away from Suarez, insisting Liverpool are more than the one man, but nobody was really buying it; because if City, who have won all eight games at home so far, scoring 35 goals, can stop Suarez from playing - not just scoring, because Suarez also notches up quite a few assists - then the home side will come away with all three points.
"Suarez is in a very good moment. He has always been a very good striker," Pellegrini said. "But Liverpool is not only Suarez. They are a very good team, it will be a tough game and we hope we can continue winning at home.
"So there will be no special plans for Suarez. He is a player that is in a good moment but we must continue playing the same way at home.
"I repeat, we are not playing against Liverpool thinking of Luis Suarez. We are playing against Liverpool thinking we must repeat what we are doing at home."
Team news: Manchester City: Sergio Aguero is sidelined with a calf injury, with fellow Argentine Pablo Zabaleta also likely to miss out. Micah Richards, Matija Nastastic and Stevan Jovetic are also unlikely to feature on Boxing Day.
Liverpool: Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Jose Enrique remain ruled out, with Jon Flanagan a major doubt with a hamstring problem. "Our squad is very thin at the moment, 17 players -- which is unfortunate for us coming into a busy period," Rodgers said of Liverpool's injury woes. "We just have to assess young Jon Flanagan.
"Leading into the game against Cardiff he had a tight hamstring for a few days. He was fit enough to start and play; he felt it a little bit in the game so obviously we had to take him off.
"We just need to assess how that is over the next 24 hours. At the moment, none of the guys who have been out have returned, so we're quite thin on the ground."
Key men: Manchester City: If Yaya Toure and Fernandinho can boss the midfield, then City will be able to minimise the supply to Suarez, while holding all the aces moving to the right end as well.
Liverpool: Apart from the obvious Suarez, Jordan Henderson will have a big part to play. The midfielder has been quite influential so far this season, and if he can continue to link up with Suarez, then the Reds could come away with something from the Etihad that no team have been able to do so far in the Premier League -- points.
Expected lineups: Manchester City: Hart; Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Silva, Nasri; Negredo.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Sakho, Kelly; Lucas, Allen; Sterling, Henderson, Coutinho; Suarez.
Prediction: 4-2 to Manchester City