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League Cup

  • January 25, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 44590

Liverpool win Aggregate 3 - 2

Liverpool - Manchester City Preview: Roberto Mancini’s side eye first Anfield victory in nine years in second leg of League Cup semi-final

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 have 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 they have drawn seven out of their 11 home matches in the Premier League, they are 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 are the most successful side in League Cup history, having won the trophy seven times. Their most recent victory came in 2003.
  • They have not won a trophy, however, since 2006, when they lifted the Community Shield following a 2-1 victory over Chelsea.
  • Kenny Dalglish’s team have slipped up since securing a 1-0 victory in the first leg. A draw with Stoke preceded their 3-1 loss to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
  • Manchester City have not been flawless in recent weeks either. Since Christmas, they have won only three of their seven matches in all competitions.
  • Prior to winning the 2011 FA Cup, the League Cup was the last trophy City had lifted. They 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 have not played out a score draw in nine league matches.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
5Daniel AggerDefender
3José EnriqueDefender
14Jordan HendersonMidfielder
16Charlie AdamMidfielder
19Stewart DowningMidfielder
8Steven GerrardMidfielder
39Craig BellamyStriker
-Dirk KuytStriker
16Sebastián CoatesDefender
23Jamie CarragherDefender
34Martin KellyDefender
11Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
9Andy CarrollStriker
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
2Micah RichardsDefender
15Stefan SavicDefender
6Joleon LescottDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
21David SilvaStriker
8Samir NasriMidfielder
10Edin DzekoStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
22Gael ClichyDefender
44Karim RekikDefender
7James MilnerMidfielder
11Adam JohnsonMidfielder
20Owen HargreavesMidfielder
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
Players to Watch
Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 39
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

Stefan Savic has looked unsure at times as he continues to fill in for Kolo Toure and Vincent Kompany, and the Montenegrin defender will have to stay alert in order to combat the boundless energy of Bellamy.

The speed of Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon, Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe got the better of the City defence at times on Sunday and Bellamy will provide a similar threat.

James Milner
James Milner
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The midfielder has done a sound job so far in the absence of Yaya Toure, but his work will be cut out at Anfield. Facing the player he will be hoping to succeed in the England midfield in Steven Gerrard, Milner will have to seize the initiative in the centre of the park if City are to overturn their opponent’s one-goal advantage.

If Milner can impress against one of the best teams in the Premier League, Fabio Capello may be tempted to pair him with Gareth Barry at this summer’s European Championship.

Liverpool are a difficult side to break down and beat at Anfield, and City will need to dig deep into their energy reserves following a tough game at the weekend if they are to deliver a performance that eliminates the one-goal advantage the Reds picked up at the Etihad Stadium.
Editor's Prediction

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