The first leg of the second Semi-final of the Carling Cup is being played on 11th January 2012 at 19.45; this will see the current Premiership leaders Manchester City welcome Liverpool to the Etihad.
Manchester City were dealt a hammer blow against Manchester United with a 3-2 home defeat and elimination from the FA Cup in the early stages, after originally being priced as one of the favourites to go all the way.
Mancini and his boys will be looking to make amends for not defending their FA cup with the chase for further glory just two matches away.
On the other hand Liverpool will be thankful for the win against Oldham Athletic to re-gain confidence in preparation for the match ahead.
These two teams previous meeting came very recently on the 3rd January 2012, this resulted in a 3-0 win for Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City Evens
Kenny Dalglish previously threatened to field a second string team throughout the Carling Cup due to fixture congestion. Although some changes are expected in this match, the extent I suspect will be far less due to the opponent and proximity of the final itself.
With Liverpool drawing Manchester United in the next stage of the FA cup they will be looking to start their head to heads with Manchester rivals with a bang although it will not be easy. Manchester City have only lost one match at the Etihad Stadium which was in somewhat precarious circumstances.
Liverpool’s away record has been turbulent, with them only managing to win half of their games on their travels so far in the domestic league campaign.
The introduction of Steven Gerard back into the frame may hold great relevance as he has the ability to change a match single handily whilst also inspiring those around him.
The presence of Yaya Toure was evidently missed against Manchester United; the responsibility will be likely to fall on Nigel De Jong.
Liverpool could exploit the fact De Jong has had limited game time recently and will need an empowering midfield display to achieve anything from this match up.