Liverpool take on Man City in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, 90 minutes away from a superb achievement.
Man City vs. Liverpool
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 — 7.45pm (BST)
Champions League Quarter-Final Second Leg
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Here we go: part two.
Last Wednesday’s 3-0 win over City was a magnificent effort by Jurgen Klopp‘s side, considering the calibre of opponent they were up against.
It was an almost perfect performance, with the attack clicking when required and the defensive unit not allowing the visitors a single shot on target.
Liverpool have one foot in the semi-finals of Europe’s elite competition for the first time in a decade, but there is still lots of work to do.
City are far too good a side to simply lie down and accept their fate, and Saturday’s shock 3-2 loss at home to Man United will only make them more revved-up for the occasion.
Given their quality, this will be a night when concentration must be immaculate from the Reds, with plenty of defensive nous once again called for.
Pep Guardiola’s side are in a horrible situation, though, with one Liverpool goal meaning they have to score five to progress.
With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in such superb form, as well as supporting cast members such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Klopp’s men should find the net at some point.
This doesn’t feel like it is a tie that is dead in the water, however, and there could be moments of unbearable tension in store for supporters.
What a night it promises to be—one that should end with the Reds in the last four.
Last Meeting: Liverpool 3-0 Man City
Jordan Henderson is suspended for the game after picking up a late booking at Anfield in the first leg, which is a blow.
Add to that the absence of Emre Can, and Liverpool have big personnel issues in midfield, with Gini Wijnaldum set to start in the No. 6 role.
Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Adam Lallana are also missing, but Salah is fit, with the Egyptian’s pace and movement set to be so key at the Etihad.
Nathaniel Clyne impressed on his return to the side against Everton on Saturday, but Trent Alexander-Arnold is still favourite to start at right-back.
Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk will again be paired at centre-back, while Andrew Robertson should return in place of Ragnar Klavan.
City have no major injury problems, with Guardiola’s main headache a selection one.
Sergio Aguero may start instead of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling will be hoping to play a bigger role than he did in the first leg and Fabian Delph could be preferred to Aymeric Laporte at left-back.
Last 5 Away to Man City (All Competitions)
Man City 5-0 Liverpool – September 9, 2017 (Aguero, Jesus x2, Sane x2)
Man City 1-1 Liverpool – March 19, 2017 (Aguero; Milner pen)
Man City 1-4 Liverpool – November 21, 2015 (Aguero; Mangala OG, Coutinho, Firmino, Skrtel)
Man City 3-1 Liverpool – August 25, 2014 (Jovetic x2, Aguero; Zabaleta OG)
Man City 2-1 Liverpool – December 26, 2013 (Kompany, Negredo; Coutinho)
Away fans’ pubs: “Around the ground is all City and not really advisable,” City fan Ste Tudor told us.
“Piccadilly has loads of ace pubs and is only a decent walk/hop-in-taxi away.”
One piece of advice for visiting fans: “Singing ‘where were you when you were shit’ only prompts rolled eyes and vicarious embarrassment. It’s pure Norwich,” he added.
Did You Know?
Since joining City in the summer of 2011, Aguero has scored in all six appearances at home to Liverpool.
That is a major warning to the Reds ahead of Tuesday’s game, with the striker’s big-game pedigree up there with the best in the business.
Man City – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 3-2 vs. Man United
Lost 3-0 vs. Liverpool
Won 3-1 vs. Everton
Won 2-0 vs. Stoke
Lost 2-1 vs. Basel
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Drew 0-0 vs. Everton
Won 3-0 vs. Man City
Won 2-1 vs. Crystal Palace
Won 5-0 vs. Watford
Lost 2-1 vs. Man United
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp said he will not be underestimating City in the slightest, despite the confidence he has in his team:
“They had two results nobody expected but we had to play our best to bring that, and United for sure,” he insisted.
“City could have scored five or six [in the first half of their derby match].
“It will not be a surprise. We have to be at our best again. That’s how it is.”
Van Dijk also spoke to the press on Monday afternoon, explaining how Liverpool need to ensure the right approach to ensure progress:
“It’s pretty clear that defending a 3-0 lead here is going to be a strange situation but we need to come in with the mindset it’s 0-0, we want to win and we’re capable of scoring goals,” he said.
“We know also as a team we can defend pretty well, very compact. You could see it also in the second half we played [against City].
“But we need to keep the mindset of winning the game instead of defending the lead.”
TV & Live Blog Info
The match is live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm (BST), with kick off at 7.45pm.
Chris Williams is on our matchday live blog from 7pm, as Liverpool look to make that next step towards the final in Kiev next month.