Article written

  • on 11.01.2012
  • at 12:40 PM
  • by KT

King Kenny has got a Semi on!

Manchester City host Liverpool tonight in the 2nd of the Carling Cup Semi-Final first leg ties and The Reds have an excellent record in the League Cup; one which Kenny Dalglish and co. will be looking to continue.

After crashing out of both the Champion League and the FA Cup at the first hurdle, Mancini may well be looking at the Carling Cup in a different light.

Manchester City v Liverpool – Team News

Captain Steven Gerrard is set to start for the visitors, after appearing to regain match fitness almost immediately after his return from injury. Luis Suarez will, of course, miss the game as he serves his 8-match ban for his involvement in the Patrice Evra race-row.

The Reds are best-priced 16/5 (Stan James) to win the first leg and 13/10 (bet365) to qualify. They will have Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel available after resting them against Oldham in last week’s FA Cup tie.

Earlier in the week, Manchester City lost their appeal over Vincent Kompany’s red card against Manchester United, so he will begin his four match ban immediately, meaning he is unavailable for the Sky Blues.

Roberto Mancini will also likely to be without Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and David Silva who are all doubts are doubts with slight injuries. Meanwhile but Gareth Barry is back from suspension. City are Evs (William Hill) to win the leg and 8/13 (bet365) to qualify for the final.

Manchester City v Liverpool – Match Preview

Manchester City have been the Premier League’s free-scoring team this season racking up 56 goals in the Premier League alone so far.

That said they will be keen to pick up some silverwear, even if it is via the Carling Cup, having already bowed out of the Champions League and FA Cup at the first hurdle.

The Toure brothers have now flown off to the African Cup of Nations, and with a host of injuries, Mancini may shuffle his back four with Savic, Zabaleta and Clichy all potentially earning starts.

As Suarez will be missing for Liverpool, Dalglish will rely on Andy Carroll to lead the line up-front once again. He did get a goal against Oldham in the FA Cup last time out and that may well have given him the confidence he so badly needs to go on a decent run.

Goals have been hard to come by for Liverpool this term, managing only 14 on 10 home games and just 24 in total, compared to City’s tally of 56.

Craig Bellamy may will line-up against his former club on the left, while Stewart Downing may well make way for Dirk Kuyt on the right having been held by police over the weekend on suspicion of assault.

This game comes only eight days after City destroyed Liverpool 3-0 in the Premier League, and the Reds have managed only one win against tonight’s opponents in the last 7 meetings.

Manchester City v Liverpool – Head-to-head

Liverpool have won 80 of the 164 meeting between the 2 clubs, with Manchester City winning 42 (41 draws).
Three out of the last four games between the sides have ended 3-0 to the home side.

Manchester City
– Manchester City have won the League Cup twice, in 1969-70 and 1975-76, and lost in the final to Wolves in 1973-74.
– They have qualified for the semi-finals for the second time in three seasons, and the seventh time in their history – winning three and losing three of the previous six.
– They have scored in their last 11 League Cup matches, and have failed to score only once in their last 21 games (going down 2-0 at home to Spurs quarter-finals in December 2007).

Liverpool
– Liverpool are the most successful club in League Cup history, having won it seven times (81, 82, 83, 84, 95, 01, 03) and finishing runners-up three times (78, 87, 05).
– This is their eighth away game in nine League Cup matches.
– The 2-0 away defeat to Chelsea in the 2007 quarter-finals is the only time they have failed to score in 42 League Cup outings.
– This will be Liverpool’s 14th league Cup semi-final. Of the previous 13, 10 were won, including the last three.

Manchester City v Liverpool – Match Odds

Manchester City v Liverpool – Betting Tips

Whilst Man City have a few injury concerns, they are much more well-equipped to cope with them than many sides. They have wavered in recent weeks and Mancini and his players will be keen to prove the doubters wrong.

Liverpool have struggled for goals and without their main man, their primary goal threat may come from set-pieces.

Recommended Bets
Man City to win to Nil – 9/4 (Stan James)
Man City 2-0 – 9/1 (Victor Chandler)

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