Liverpool vs Manchester City, Quarterfinal, 1st Leg
Match Timing - Tomorrow 12:15 AM IST
Venue - Anfield
Liverpool host fellow Premier League rival Manchester City in the first leg of Champions League quarterfinal tie at Anfield on Wednesday, with the all-English tie guaranteeing a spot for a British team in the semi-finals.
Without a shadow of any doubt, Manchester City are playing one of the best football in the world and on current form, they are even at par with the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Their performance in the first half against Everton at Goodison Park during the weekend was nothing short of a masterclass, and if the visitors keep those high-standards at Anfield, which they are capable of doing, Liverpool may find themselves in some trouble in the match.
However, Liverpool remain the only team to have beaten Pep Guardiola's team in the Premier League this season. That 4-3 in January ended Man City's quest to become the 2nd invincibles, and considering how both these teams play, we can expect another high-scoring match.
The Reds are in a good form too. They came from behind to beat Crystal Palace in the Premier League which put them 10 clear of 5th placed Chelsea. The win saw Liverpool winning six-time in their last 11 games ith Egyptian Messi Mohamed Salah once again scoring a winner for Jurgen Klopp's team. The former Chelsea winger has now scored a huge 37 goals in all competitions this season and 20 of those goals have come at Anfield. So backing him to score in the first leg is a good bet-
Manchester City moved a massive 16 points clear of city rival Manchester United after making the easy work of Everton in their 1-3 win at the weekend. Now they have got a once in a lifetime opportunity to wrap up their title against Jose Mourinho's Red Devils and that too at the Etihad. So that's a very enticing script, and City's players have made it public that they prefer to clinch the title in this week'Manchesterer Derby.
However, Pep Guardiola has revealed that his preference, for the time being, lies in the two-leg Champions League tie against Liverpool and may opt to field a weakened team against United if the situation demands.
Going forward, Liverpool are no less than any top team in the world. They have scored the 2nd most goals in Premier League this season, and their tally of 28 goals in the Champions League is the best this season. in the last 10 home games, the Reds have scored an incredible 28 goals. While City have amassed 24 goals in their last 10 away games in all competitions.
That's why we think, it could be a high-scoring match.
Liverpool - Joe Gomez was forced off the pitch just minutes into the International match between England and the Netherlands. So he is definitely out of this match.
Adam Lallana suffered the same fate against Crystal Palace and he too was taken off due to his persistent hamstring problem, he is out too.
Joe Matip has a thigh problem and has been ruled out of the match, while another Central defender Ragnar Klavan is a long-term absentee. So Dejan Lovren will definitely partner Virgil Van Dijk at the back.
Meanwhile, there are no updates on Emre Can's back problem. His inclusion may depend on a late fitness test, so he is a doubt too.
Nathaniel Clyne hasn't kicked the ball in a competitive match this season, but he is back into full training. He could play at right-back, replacing teenager Alexander-Arnold in the team.
Probable XI - Karius (GK), Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, Arnold, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner, Mane, Salah, Firmino
Manchester City - Sergio Aguero hasn't traveled with his teammates to Liverpool and has been ruled out by Pep Guardiola for this match. Gabriel Jesus will play up front.
Benjamin Mendy is still a few days away from getting to full fitness and remains a doubt for this match.
John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Fabian Delph are doubtful too.
Probable XI - Ederson (GK), Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Laporte, Silva, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Sterling, Sane, Jesus