Manchester City - Liverpool Preview: Blues aiming for fourth final at expense of League Cup's most illustrious club
After a contrasting weekend for the two sides, more cup football heads their way, with Kenny Dalglish's team hoping for some revenge for last week's 3-0 league loss at the Etihad
By Sam Bisby
Zabaleta, Savic, Lescott, Clichy
De Jong, Barry
Milner, Nasri, Johnson
Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Henderson, Gerrard, Bellamy
City have lodged an appeal, but the chances of them having the decision overturned is unlikely and with fellow defender Kolo Toure on duty with the Ivory Coast, Mancini will most likely be forced to bring in youngster Stefan Savic.
Kolo’s brother Yaya Toure is also participating in the Africa Cup of Nations and he should be replaced by Gareth Barry, who didn’t see any game time at the weekend as he served his suspension for his red card picked up in the 3-0 league win over Liverpool.Goal.com understands David Silva is out after picking up a knock in the defeat to United, and City fear he may be unavailable for several weeks. Mancini may opt to play Samir Nasri in behind Mario Balotelli, with Sergio Aguero likely to be rested.
The visitors to the Etihad Stadium have no fresh injury worries, but will have striker Luis Suarez miss the third of his eight-match ban, leaving Andy Carroll to step into the Uruguayan’s boots after a good cameo showing against Oldham on Friday evening.
Stewart Downing’s weekend escapades might have his manager Kenny Dalglish believing the former Villa man not to be in the right frame of mind to feature, allowing Jordan Henderson to possibly get back in the starting line-up.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City could be League Cup finalists for the fourth time if they dispose of Liverpool. Their previous three appearences were in the 1970s, winning twice (’70 and ’76) and runners-up once (’74). This is the Blues’ sixth semi-final.
- Wednesday’s visitors hold a host of records in the competition, including most tournament wins (seven), most appearances in the final (10) and biggest win (10-0 against Fulham in 1983).
- The competition was founded over 50 years ago. It originally begun in 1960, thanks mainly to the clubs of the Football League setting up floodlights in their grounds, allowing for midweek evening fixtures.
- Liverpool were the last side to win the tournament before it took on a sponsor in 1981, with backer Dairy Crest coming in and the competition becoming The Milk Cup.
- Current Reds boss Kenny Dalglish (pictured right) shares the record for most appearances in the final for an individual, playing in five, the same amount as fellow Liverpool legend Ian Rush.
- This is Liverpool’s 13th semi-final and they have succeeded in seven first legs at this stage.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool
- 18.26 %
Manchester City 0-9 Liverpool
- 10.63 %
Manchester City 0-2 Liverpool
- 9.35 %
|Premier League (EPL)||13 Apr 2014||Liverpool 3 - Manchester City 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2013||Manchester City 2 - Liverpool 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Feb 2013||Manchester City 2 - Liverpool 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Aug 2012||Liverpool 2 - Manchester City 2|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||25 Jan 2012||Liverpool 2 - Manchester City 2|
|16 Apr 2014||Manchester City 2 - Sunderland 2||EPL|
|13 Apr 2014||Liverpool 3 - Manchester City 2||EPL|
|5 Apr 2014||Manchester City 4 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|29 Mar 2014||Arsenal FC 1 - Manchester City 1||EPL|
|25 Mar 2014||Manchester United 0 - Manchester City 3||EPL|
|34||Nigel De Jong||Midfielder|
His sheer momentum down the flanks could be a particular danger for the Reds, who lack any real speed out wide in midfield without Downing, who might not feature. The England international will give Liverpool's two full-backs an awful lot to think about as he often likes to switch flanks.
The veteran’s accuracy with the ball will help Liverpool push forward and will aid in creating chances for his full duration on the pitch.
Mancini’s side will still be hurting from their Sunday afternoon defeat to Manchester United and will be the less rested side. City still have enough power in reserve though to push Liverpool all the way, but a chance to get to Wembley and book a place in Europe should galvanise Dalglish's men and they will not go down easily and will look to head back to Anfield for the second leg with a good result.