The Belgian centre-back appeared in danger of missing the game after hobbling out of a training session on Saturday, but he was included in Manuel Pellegrini's starting XI at Anfield alongside Martin Demichelis.

Top scorer Sergio Aguero was named on the bench for the visitors, meanwhile, after sitting out their previous five matches with a hamstring problem.

Liverpool, the Premier League leaders, were unchanged from their 2-1 victory at West Ham United last weekend.

The showdown at Anfield has been billed as a title decider. Liverpool went into the game four points above third-place City in the table, but having played two games more.