JAY SPEARING is relishing the chance to test himself against Manchester City at Anfield tonight.

The Liverpool midfielder is set to start for the third successive Premier League game when the Reds take on Roberto Mancini’s side.

After shining in the win at Sunderland, Spearing believes his standards slipped in the defeat at West Brom last weekend and he’s determined to reproduce the form he showed at the Stadium of Light.

“I was very pleased with Sunderland, but a little bit disappointed with West Brom,” he said. “I thought I didn’t get involved in the game as much as I would have liked to. I want to get back out there and prove I can play against the best players in the world, and Manchester City have a lot of them.”

Tottenham’s 3-2 win over Stoke on Saturday has left Liverpool eight points adrift of the European places. However, Spearing isn’t giving up hope of fifth place and says there’s a collective determination to bounce back after the setback at West Brom.

“This is one of the biggest games we’ve had so far this season,” he said. “After last week at West Brom, we were all massively disappointed with the performance and we’ve had to wait a week to get back out there and prove to people we can fight at that level.

“We’ve got a lot to play for in these seven games. I don’t see why we can’t finish fifth and we can start by getting a result on Monday.”

Fourth-placed City arrive on a high after hammering Sunderland 5-0 but Spearing believes the Reds can take heart from their last home league game – the 3-1 victory over Manchester United a month ago.

“At first it took City a lot of time to gel as a team, but as the season’s gone on they’re getting a lot better,” he added. “They’re willing to fight for the team. They’re in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, but hopefully on Monday we can start them on a bit of a bad run.

“We’re at home and after our last home game against Manchester United, I don’t see why we If we play in the way we know we can at home, I think we can cause them a lot of problems.”