It’s Champions League time again, Liverpool are taking on Manchester City for the second time in as many weeks. The Reds are taking a 3-0 lead into the second leg of this year’s quarter-final, but it’s far from over yet… Here’s The Anfield Talk’s Anthony (@anthonymarkmcav) with a preview…
Before I start though, I’d just like to say, I’m taking part in this year’s Football Blogging Awards, and I need YOUR help to win at AllyPally next month. Click here to tweet your vote for me! Thanks in advance!
DATE: APRIL 10, 2018
WHERE: ETIHAD STADIUM
WHO: MANCHESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL
TIME: 19:45 (GMT)
Liverpool’s squad was thinned out on the weekend as we drew 0-0 with Everton at Goodison, but it’s looking increasingly likely that our squad will be more fleshed out by the time we travel to Manchester. Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson and Alberto Moreno all trained on Monday after missing last weekend’s game, with Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain probably returning from the bench to the first team on Tuesday too.Embed from Getty Images
Sergio Aguero was in Manchester City training on Monday having returned from injury to play the last quarter of an hour in City’s 3-2 Manchester Derby loss on the weekend. Benjamin Mendy was also in training as he recovers from his long-standing ligament problem.
Both John Stones [adductor] and Danilo both sat out and will not take part on Tuesday.
Jurgen Klopp will be without Jordan Henderson for the second leg of the CL tie, with the Liverpool captain receiving a one-match ban following his booking last Wednesday. Karius will retain his goalkeeper spot after a good few months of solid performances between the sticks, with Joel Matip’s season-ending injury, Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk will partner each other at the back, and Andy Robertson should return to the left-back position.
After an impressive outing in the number 6 role against Everton, Gini Wijnaldum will play the base of the midfield against City, probably flanked by James Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain, who have both been very impressive in competition recently.
After being rested, Roberto Firmino will be back up front for the Reds, with Sadio Mane and Mo Salah partnering him.
Liverpool: Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Andrew Robertson; Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah.
Manchester City: Ederson, Fabian Delph, Nicolas Otamendi, Vincent Kompany, Kyle Walker; David Silva, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne; Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane.
Whilst I’m here, too, can we please stop leaking the team? Like seriously. There’s no harm in predicting but leaking “official teams” just harms the team, you probably don’t realise it if you’re one of the ones leaking teams but seriously, just cut it out.
Manchester City have lost back to back games for the first time since 2016. Against us and the 3-2 defeat in the weekend’s Manchester derby. City have also only won one of the last six games between Liverpool and City, with the only win being the 5-0 destruction at the Etihad earlier this year. City come into the game with 3 wins out of 6 in all competitions with the other three games all being losses. Liverpool come in with a similar record but with two draws, three wins and a loss.Embed from Getty Images
That being said, form goes out of the window on Tuesday, it’s do or die for City.
The Key Battle: Fabian Delph vs Mohamed Salah
Not a left-back by trade, Fabian Delph is going to have to yet again try to deal with Mohamed Salah, who, if you think about it enough, could ACTUALLY be in the running to win this year’s Ballon D’or should all go well over the next few months.
Salah can make anyone look like a Sunday-league defender, and when you’re not actually a defender, then all hell could break loose, which I hope it will.
All bias aside, though. Fabian Delph has impressed as a makeshift left-back in much the same sense that James Milner did for us last season, but it’ll still be incredibly tough for him to get a foothold against the Egyptian King.
“I’m not interested in labels like ‘favourites’. We are only in the lead but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
“When we lost here 5-0 everyone saw the quality of City when we were one man down. Pep is the best manager in the world. But there is no perfect football team in the world.”
“You always have the chance to strike back and City have that chance. Nothing is fixed. We have the chance to win.”
on Salah: “Not sure, 100%. He was with the fitness coach training yesterday. We will see when we train at 5pm. Then we wait for the reaction and make a decision tomorrow.”
“City are human beings, thank God. They have had 2 results no-one expected but we had to play our best. United had a bit of luck and used it – City could have scored 5 or 6.”
“If you saw the 1st half against United, City maybe should have scored 6 goals – that quality isn’t a surprise for us.”
“Perfect game scenario? If we score 5 it will be difficult for them….. It’s about being stable, lively and trying to cause them problems.”
“Does the experience of your grandfather help you in life? You have to make your own experiences. The mood is special right now. European nights for LFC are special. But we are not more experienced that the City players in the CL.”
Both sides will be eager to progress into the next stage of the Champions League with City vying to reach their second ever CL semi-final and Liverpool are trying to accomplish the unthinkable by winning their 6th Champions League. With Liverpool’s 3-0 lead it will take an insane City performance for them to go through and just one away goal could completely seal it for the Reds as it would mean City would have to score 5 against us… again.
I’m not going to predict a score, but the Reds will go through.