Liverpool are on the verge of planning their first trip to Wembley since 1996, after beating Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad a fortnight ago in the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final tie. They are now best priced 4/9 (Victor Chandler) to qualify.
Man City’s performance was noticeably flat on that occasion, yet instead of trying to take a 2-0 or 3-0 lead into the return leg, Kenny Dalglish threw on more defenders late in the game and settled for just the single goal victory away from home.
Mancini’s men must improve significantly if they are to overturn the deficit (2/1 to make the final – bet365) Stan, yet Sunday’s performance against Spurs would suggest that they have the determination and togetherness within the camp to do just that.
Liverpool of course do have an excellent record in the League Cup; the best of any English club in fact.
Despite leading the Premier League title race, City will be keen to make the final and add some early silverware to the Etihad trophy cabinet. That said, they have not won at Anfield for over 9 years.
Liverpool v Manchester City – Team News
Captain Steven Gerrard will once again start for the home side after regaining match fitness of late. Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt may also make a return to the starting line-up, after Dalglish was critical of the players he put out for the Reds’ defeat at the Reebok at the weekend.
Luis Suarez will, of course, miss the game as part of the 8-match ban for his involvement in the Patrice Evra race-row. Jay Spearing is also an injury doubt.
Manchester City will be without Vincent Kompany once against as he serves his suspension for the controversial red card he received against Manchester United.
The Sky Blues will also be without Mario Balotelli, unless they choose to make a late appeal against the four-game suspension handed out earlier this week for the stamp on Scott Parker.
Roberto Mancini will also have to make do without the Toure brothers (African Cup of Nations).
Liverpool v Manchester City – Bookie Offers
Paddy Power will refund all losing 1st Goalscorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast single bets if Steven Gerrard scores anytime during 90 minutes.
Boylesports will refund your losing first goalscorer bet if your player goes on to score the second goal of the game.
Bet365 will refund all losing Correct Score, HT-FT and Scorecast bets if the game finishes 0-0 after 90 minutes.
Manchester City v Liverpool – Head-to-head
Liverpool have won 81 of the 165 meeting between the 2 clubs, with Manchester City winning 42 (41 draws).
- 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 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.
Liverpool v Manchester City – Betting Tips
Whilst Man City put ion a lack-lustre performance a fortnight ago, they have since bounced back well and will be on a high following Sunday’s dramatic win against Tottenham Hotspur.
They do have to contend with a number of suspensions and have players away on Internation duty, but if any squad can cope with such problems, it has to be City.
Liverpool have continued to struggle for goals and without Suarez, they need Carroll to start finding the net. But with a 1-0 lead Dalglish may choose to go defensive and try and keep the opposition out instead of going to win this game outright and put the tie beyond the visitors.
Taking all into account – we fancy Man City to sneak it by a single goal or two on the night and spoil the Anfield party.