Liverpool have an immediate shot at redemption after their cruel defeat in the penalty shoot-out against Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday. The Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp explained that his team will ‘hit back 100%’ in the next game when they face the same opponents in the Barclays Premier League this mid-week.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side are 9 points behind leaders Leicester City albeit with a game in hand and will need to take something from this game to stay in the hunt for the title. They have a busy schedule but need to get as many points as they can in the next few weeks to keep up the pressure or they will lag behind in the race come the end of the season. It will be an intriguing fixture as there was hardly anything to chose between the two clubs in the last outing.
Here is the Preview of the game along with the team news, predictions, predicted line-ups and betting odds.
The Liverpool vs Manchester City game will be played on Wednesday the 2nd of February at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool. The kick-off is scheduled at 8:00 pm BST (1:30 am IST on Thursday).
Jurgen Klopp revealed that in form defender Lucas Leiva picked up a muscle injury and is out of this game. However, Dejan Lovren returned to full training this week and will be in contention for a start on Wednesday. Sakho who was subbed off in the final days ago will also not be risked along with Martin Skrtel who is back in training after an injury lay-off. Sturridge played the full 120 minutes at Wembley and may not start this game at Anfield.
For City, Joe Hart is expected to back in between the posts after the League Cup heroics of his deputy Willy Caballero. However, De Bruyne, Delph and Nasri are all out for this game against Liverpool. Mid-fielder Yaya Toure will undergo a late fitness test to see if he is fit enough to take the field on Wednesday. Raheem Sterling will also start in what will be his first return to Anfield after the summer move to the Etihad.
Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno; Milner, Henderson, Can; Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana
Hart; Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernandinho, Fernando, Navas, Silva, Sterling; Aguero
Raheem Sterling vs Nathaniel Clyne:
The young English winger was booed by the Liverpool supporters at Wembley and will surely be under the pump at Anfield. But he was a constant menace at the right for Liverpool but Nathaniel Clyne, Liverpool best defender this season was up to the task giving him no space on the flank. This battle will once again be an important one for both sides.
Phillipe Coutinho vs Vincent Kompany:
At Wembley, Kompany was up against Daniel Sturridge who is still not as sharp as he was before his injuries. However, he will be up against a front three with the biggest threat coming from Brazil play-maker Phillipe Coutinho. Coutinho scored Liverpool’s equalizer at Wembley and will have to play an important role if his team are to take anything from this game.
Following a run of just one win in 10 Premier League games against Man City (W1 D6 L3), Liverpool have won three of the last four league meetings between the two sides (L1).
Manchester City have won none of their last 12 Premier League trips to Anfield (W0 D4 L8).
Philippe Coutinho has scored in five of his six appearances against Manchester City, including in the League Cup final at the weekend.
If Coutinho plays in this match, it’ll be his 100th Premier League appearance.
Sergio Aguero has scored in all four of his Premier League appearances against Liverpool at the Etihad but in none of his three appearances at Anfield.
There have been 34 goals scored in the last nine meetings in all competitions between these two sides (3.8 per game) and neither team has kept a clean sheet in that run.
Manchester City: 15/8
The home side will go into the game knowing they lost out to a better team as a whole at Wembley. But it will be interesting to see how Klopp’s side performs at home with his team under no real pressure to win the game. Liverpool do not really have a chance to aim at the Champions League and will enjoy their game against City. The visitors on the other end will have to be vary of complacency and will need a positive result to stay in the title race.
Our Prediction: Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City