League Cup Preview: Liverpool - Manchester City

The visitors must overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg if they are to reach Wembley, with Steven Gerrard's penalty at the Etihad Stadium handing the Reds the advantage

Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Gerrard, Adam, Henderson
Rodriguez, Carroll, Bellamy

Richards, Savic, Lescott, Clichy
Milner, Barry
Silva, Aguero, Nasri
Jay Spearing is unlikely to return from injury for Liverpool, meaning Charlie Adam should continue alongside Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson in midfield. Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt are also in contention for two of the three forward spots in the starting XI, although expect Kenny Dalglish to stick with Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy and Maxi despite Saturday's defeat to Bolton.

City has until 6pm on Wednesday evening to appeal the FA charge against Mario Balotelli for violent conduct, however, the league-leaders are expected to accept the four-game ban meaning the Italian will not be available for the trip to Anfield.

Edin Dzeko is therefore likely to start up top, backed up by an impressive attacking line of Samir Nasri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero. Stefan Savic is set to continue alongside Joleon Lescott in defence, with captain Vincent Kompany sitting out the final game of his ban.
  • Liverpool’s home form bodes well for them going into the second leg. Although it has drawn seven out of its 11 home matches in the Premier League, it is yet to lose at Anfield.
  • The Reds have not suffered defeat at Anfield against City in nine matches in all competitions, their last defeat coming back in 2003 when former Liverpool strikers Robbie Fowler and Nicolas Anelka led the line for the visitors.
  • Liverpool is the most successful side in League Cup history, having won the trophy seven times. Its most recent victory came in 2003.
  • It has not won a trophy, however, since 2006, when it lifted the Community Shield following a 2-1 victory over Chelsea.
  • Kenny Dalglish’s team has slipped up since securing a 1-0 victory in the first leg. A draw with Stoke preceded its 3-1 loss to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
  • Manchester City has not been flawless in recent weeks either. Since Christmas, it has won only three of its seven matches in all competitions.
  • Prior to winning the 2011 FA Cup, the League Cup was the last trophy City had lifted. It won the tournament in 1970, were runners-up in 1974 and emerged victorious again in 1976. They have not been to the final since.
  • Before beating Wigan Athletic 1-0 in the Premier League, City had not won in four matches in a row away from the Etihad Stadium.
  • Roberto Mancini’s team has not played out a score draw in nine league matches.

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