It’s Jurgen Klopp against Manuel Pellegrini; It’s the normal one against the charming man. And Liverpool against Manchester City for the first piece of silverware this season. Liverpool are the country’s most successful team in terms of the number of times they have won this competition – at least three more than any other side. But Manchester City have had some success in this tournament in recent years with their last win coming in 2013.
Liverpool will go into the game on the back of a 1-0 win against Augsburg in the Europa League sealing their place in the round of 16 against Manchester United. The Reds’ win four years ago was the last time they won a trophy and should they win on Sunday it would be just four months after Jurgen Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers in charge at Anfield. While Manchester City’s own form has dwindled in the league, they have had their successful away trip in midweek against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League round of 16, a comprehensive 3-1 victory, in Ukraine.
With this being the first bit of silverware of the season, it will be fascinating to see two heavyweights going against each other in England’s fabled Wembley in the capital.
Good news for Liverpool as Daniel Sturridge is fit and firing again while Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren have both returned to training this week alongside Joe Allen and Adam Lallana.
Much to Pellegrini’s delight, City are getting close to a clean bill of health and the Chilean revealed today that Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Jesus Navas are all back in contention, although it would be a surprise to see any of them start.
Liverpool have won their last two matches against City including the 4-1 away from home in November.
These two last met in the League Cup four years ago in the semi-finals, when Liverpool won 1-0 away in the first leg before sealing their place in the final with a 2-2 draw at Anfield.
Key Men Comparison
James Milner (Liverpool) v David Silva (Manchester City)
James Milner has been a vital player for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp and he will continue to be for Liverpool this campaign, in this game against his former side, he won the league with. His presence and versatility in the middle and the ability to put in a defensive shift if needed should play a vital role in determining Liverpool’s performance on Sunday.
The return of David Silva cannot have come at a better time as the Spaniard has been so influential for the Sky Blues in all these years when City have quite been at the forefront in English football. He will have to play another pivotal role if City were to add another trophy to their recent illustrious collection and give departing Pellegrini a fitting farewell.
It is going to be an exhaustive final. One that Liverpool must shade, going by their recent results in big games.
Liverpool 1-0 Manchester City