Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Liverpool FC Vs Manchester City FC : Carling Cup Preview

Liverpool FC Vs Manchester City FC : Carling Cup Semi-Final; First Leg
Etihad Stadium
Kick Off: 7:45pm


Third Round: City 2 - 0 Birmingham.   Scorers: Hargreaves, Balotelli
Fourth Round: Wolves 2 - 5 City.   Scorers: Milijas, O'Hara; Johnson, Nasri, Dzecko (2), Scapuzzi
Quarter Final: Arsenal 0 - 1 City.  Scorers: Aguero

Silva (ankle)
Dzeko (knee)
Yaya Toure (African Cup of Nations)
Kolo Toure (ACON)
Kompany (suspended - straight red card)

Probable Lineup:
                        Zabaleta  Lescott  Savic  Clichy
                                  De Jong       Barry
                        Milner                            Johnson
                                     Balotelli  Aguero


Second Round: Exeter 1 - 3 Liverpool.  Scorers: Nardiello; Suarez, Rodriguez, Carroll
Third Round: Brighton 1 - 2 Liverpool.  Scorers: Barnes; Bellamy, Kuyt
Fourth Round: Stoke 1 - 2 Liverpool. Scorers: Jones; Suarez (2)
Quarter Final: Chelsea 0 - 2 Liverpool. Scorers: Rodriguez, Kelly

Lucas (knee)
Suarez (8 match ban)
Wilson (loan)

Probable Lineup:
                       Johnson  Skrtel  Agger  Enrique
                               Adam       Henderson
                           Bellamy  Gerrard  Rodriguez


Liverpool have overcome four tough away games to progress to the semi-final stage in their attempt to win the cup for the first time since the 2002-3 season (then named Worthington Cup). Manchester City have progressed through a shorter route to the cup, finding difficulty only in their Quarter Final versus Arsenal, which they surpassed only due to an 83rd minute goal from Argentine star Sergio Aguero.
These two teams met last week in the premier league, out of which City emerged as 3-0 winners. The scoreline was somewhat flattering to the men in blue, as Liverpool were once again wasteful with their chances. A tight encounter which was seen earlier in the season at Anfield should be expected tonight, with Mancini  expressing his intent to win at least one cup every season. Liverpool themselves have taken the League Cup very seriously this season, scoring far more prolifically than in the Premier League. Luis Suarez is their top scorer with three goals, but no less than 5 other players have found the net.
With the absence of Vincent Kompany, due to a two footed challenge on Nani in City's FA Cup tie against their Manchester rivals on Sunday, City will be without their captain and arguably unsung player of the season.

I am predicting a very close game tonight, with both teams putting out strong outfits in hope of attaining the first silverwear of 2012, with the final sure to consist of a weaker team. (Crystal Palace or Cardiff)
Match Prediction: Manchester City 1 - 2 Liverpool

Peri Mould (twitter: @peri_mould)

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