Just days after their League Cup final, Liverpool and Manchester City meet again, this time in the Premier League showdown at Anfield. Reds will be keen on getting one back to the Citizens, but Manuel Pellegrini’s men are on the slightly improved run of form and will be tough to break.
Jurgen Klopp’s charges were awarded with the opportunity to exact instant revenge to Manchester City at Anfield as they look to bounce back from their loss in the League Cup final. The penalty shootout denied Jurgen Klopp his first piece of silverware at Liverpool since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October. Liverpool will be hoping to repeat the 4-1 hammering at the Etihad Stadium in November and the German tactician has already promised a strong reaction from his squad. Reds are currently ninth in the table with nine points adrift of their Wednesday’s opposition and are in desperate need of a win that would see them make an important step forward following a disappointing Cup loss. Liverpool only chance of winning a trophy this season remains the UEFA Europa League and Jurgen Klopp has promised to fight until the end as the competition would bring a Champions League berth, which will be impossible to achieve through the Premier League unfortunately. Liverpool have lost two of their last five Premier League games and will be looking to inflict the third consecutive league defeat to Pellegrini’s men.
Mamadou Sakho has sustained an injury at Wembley and will be given a late fitness test ahead of the game.
Martin Skrtel and Joe Allen are both suffering from hamstring problems, while Dejan Lovren ins still unavailable through illness.
Having willingly sacrificed his fifth-round FA Cup clash with Chelsea, Manchester City went on to record back-to-back triumphs. Their trip to Ukraine turned out to be a 3-1 success, while the first trophy of the season was won after the penalty shootout at Wembley with goalkeeper Caballero the hero for his side. Raheem Sterling had an emotional game as the former Liverpool starlet was manhandled by an angry Liverpool fan in an ugly incident that followed the match at Wembley. Sterling had been booed throughout the game, but that turned into a physical confrontation as Sterling was leaving the pitch. Manuel Pellegrini will be handing his managerial duties to Pep Guardiola at the end of the current campaign, but he will be looking to make the most of it and will urge his players to pick up their game and try to close the gap behind Arsenal, who are sitting in fourth place at the table four points in front Citizens. Visitors will be hoping their key man Sergio Aguero will come back to full form when they visit Anfield as the diminutive Argentine has so far scored 14 goals in the League. He managed three goals and an assist during the last five matches and will be the one to keep a close watch on.
Joe Hart will be coming back to goal for Caballero, who got his promised reward in the League Cup final.
Pellegrini has no fresh injury worries and Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph and Samir Nasri continue to miss out due to their respective injuries.
Key Factors to Consider
- Liverpool won only one of their last 5 home matches
- Citizens haven’t lost three Premier League games on the bounce since 2008
- Philippe Coutinho will play his 100th game for Liverpool if selected
- City have lost only two of their last ten away matches in all competitions
- Liverpool are nine points behind Manchester City in the Premier League
Liverpool are running on fumes and it appears that Jurgen Klopp himself can’t wait for the season to end so that he can begin the preparations for the new campaign. Heavy injuries have hit Reds hard and they will be up against the improving Manchester City, who will be buoyed by their Cup win.
Verdict: Both teams to score