5 min ago Manchester City are looking to reach the FA Cup final but must overcome fierce rivals Liverpool at Wembley in today's semi-final.
Less than a week after their pulsating 2-2 draw in the Premier League, arguably the two best teams in Europe travel to Wembley looking to book their place in next month’s English football showpiece against either Chelsea or Crystal Palace.
Indeed, there’s even a chance football fans could be treated to another game between the two this season, should both manage to reach the Champions League Final.
Having already claimed the Carabao Cup this season, Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool remain fighting for an unprecedented quadruple, while Pep Guardiola and City are still on course for a memorable treble.
Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker both look set to miss out for City, having failed to train on Friday in the aftermath of injuries picked up in Wednesday’s ill-tempered goalless draw against Atletico Madrid.
However, Ruben Dias completed a third session without issue after returning to the squad for the first time since early March as an unused substitute in midweek.
For Liverpool, Diogo Jota should be fine after picking up a knock against Benfica in the Champions League, with Mohamed Salah also expected to be fit.
Both games between the two star-studded title rivals this season have been close affairs, although City’s fiery battle with Atletico could weaken them.
Manchester City and Liverpool meet again, this time on Saturday in the FA Cup semifinals. The two elite English sides just met last Sunday in the Premier League, playing out an epic 2-2 draw and they remain separated by just a point at the top of the Premier League table. The two sides also advanced to the UEFA Champions League semifinals last week and may just be on a collision course to meet in the final.
Some rotation may be likely after three wild, intense games, with this one matching. Two games against Atletico Madrid and one against Liverpool leaves City in a spot where they probably should rotate. And they may be forced to given that both Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne limped off against Atleti. Whether we see Zack Steffen in goal remains to be seen, but don't be surprised if the lineup is a bit weaker than usual. Of course, a weak City lineup could still beat most teams. Expect Ruben Dias to start his first game since returning from injury.
The Reds rotated a lot of players for the second leg against Benfica, meaning they should be the fresher of the two sides. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah did not start that match, coming off the bench in the second half. They should be in line to start here, as should Virgil van Dijk. If the rotations play out as expected, the Reds should be the slight favorite.
In the scramble to accurately ensconce Liverpool's rivalry with Manchester City, the idea of them both as boxing heavyweights has been understandably prevalent of late.
So it wouldn't require too much of a leap now to imagine the tagline of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final being accompanied by the paraphrasing of a catchy line often used to hype up a clash between unbeaten fighters on pay-per-view. Because as they say in boxing, someone's O has got to go. The same can be said in a roundabout way of these two prizefighters this weekend.
By Saturday evening, we will know whether or not Jurgen Klopp and his Reds players are still on course for their quadruple quest. Pep Guardiola's City also have their own aims of repeating a treble that was last completed by local rivals United way back in 1999.
Some scoffed at the fanciful idea of Liverpool becoming the first team to win the League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League in the same season earlier this year. And while that task still remains mission improbable, it is far from unattainable as we enter the final six weeks of a thrilling term.
Now into the last four of the Champions League, a two-legged clash with Villarreal appears to be an eminently winnable one as they go in search of a third European Cup final under Klopp. Like the FA Cup, however, Liverpool may just find City in their path once more should they torpedo Unai Emery's Yellow Submarine.
Manchester City may have to rotate their squad against Liverpool to account for their injury and fitness concerns after a tough trip to Madrid in the week.
City are unbeaten in their two games with Atletico Madrid as well as the Premier League clash with Liverpool in the last 11 days, but have picked up problems with Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker this week.
Pep Guardiola will be able to call upon Gabriel Jesus, who impressed last week in the Premier League draw against Liverpool but was suspended for the trip to Madrid, while Ruben Dias could also make a comeback after returning to the bench on Wednesday.
Dias may have to be thrown in, with Aymeric Laporte asked to go again - simply because of his left foot and the fact he has a cleaner injury record than John Stones. It is further forward that the juggling truly begins, and Fernandinho should be given the chance to skipper the Blues at Wembley, perhaps for the last time, as Rodri is in dire need of a rest.
With so many players tired after Wednesday night, it has to be better to have a refreshed stand-in than ask the same men to go again, as much as possible. And given the fact City could well be under the cosh, Guardiola should break his policy and play Ederson rather than Zack Steffen.
Ilkay Gundogan can start again and Bernardo Silva may be forced to dust himself down and dig deep once more, depending on the De Bruyne outcome. In the front three Jack Grealish should be raring to go, Jesus can add energy down the middle and Sterling should get another chance against his former club.
We’ve barely caught our breath after last weekend’s pulsating league game between these two massive rivals. Now we have to do it all over again, as Man City and Liverpool meet again in the first FA Cup semi-final on Saturday afternoon.
The teams couldn’t be separated in a 2-2 draw last time out, but there has to be a winner on Saturday with extra time and penalties in prospect and a spot in the FA Cup Final on the line. now free frtdfrtddf dfdf