Liverpool and Manchester City will brawl at Wembley Stadium to decide the fate of the first title of the season, the Capital One Cup.
Apart from the trophy’s importance for each club, both managers, Jurgen Klopp and Manuel Pelligrini, are looking at their only solid chance of lifting a trophy this season. However, it would be the first for Klopp since his arrival while a third for Pelligrini while at City. It is only rational to assume that Pelligrini does not have a good chance either in Premier League or the Champions League. Capital One Cup could be a well-deserved farewell for the Chilean.
TRADITIONALLY, LUCK FAVORS THE BRAVE
Liverpool has won the Cup title a record eight times since its inception. Their latest win came in 2012 when they beat Cardiff City on penalties. Citizens, on the other hand, cruised to the Cup title against Sunderland in their double winning season under Pelligrini in 2014.
Yes – Liverpool are a strong team with the likes of Coutinho and Sturridge on their roster. But a Manchester City XI at its best will eventually be too tough to handle for the less-experienced Klopp and company. Aguero and Silva are not in their prime form, but they make their presence felt in those crucial moments that define the match.
Likewise, Yaya Toure may not be consistent, but his ability to produce magic to wrap up the game can prove to be vital against the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp has breathed fresh air into the Liverpool squad, and the team has shown attacking surge, especially since Sturridge’s injury clearance. Klopp will play a critical role in precisely explaining his striker’s role in the match, and providing him with instructions to burst through city’s vulnerable attack.
THE KEY PLAYERS:
When it comes to these two teams, coming up with a few key players is tougher than anything else because both teams are home to some of the most exciting talents who have collectively performed exceptionally well throughout the season.
Statistically, though, some players stand out on the list. Sergio Aguero has done it so many times for City now that his performance will ultimately decide the winner. The Argentinian striker considered one of the deadliest in the world, encompasses the ability to pick out the slick passes and convert them into goals. On the other end, there is the ex-man City star James Milner, who can provide that vital touch in the most crunch situations that can win you a game.
Two players, though, who have been the talk of the town are Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge. Since De Bruyne is injured and David Silva is far from his best, Raheem Sterling is the one man City can look for. His performance against Dynamo Kyiv was world class. The English winger played like a mature playmaker and created several chances.
Subsequently, Liverpool is relying on the prowess of Daniel Sturridge whose comeback stints have made Liverpool come back to life. His ability to run through defenders and create miles of space between the slightest of gaps is immense. Yes—there is Kompany at the back, but he is only coming back from a long injury and is not at his fittest. Sturridge’s ability will test the Belgian defender.
EXPECT NOTHING BUT EVERYTHING
City fans would feel that it wouldn’t be too tough of a game since Liverpool’s squad quality is no way near. I intend to disagree. Liverpool has all the quality they need, except the fact that they do not have the kind of experience that City possesses.
The two Brazilians, Coutinho, and Firmino have performed exceptionally well and risen to the occasion more often than not, boasting fantastic football skills. I am sure the spells these two invoked at Etihad earlier this season will be quite as fresh in the memories of Pelligrini and company.
So, there is no clear winner. Only time will tell who attains glory. But one thing is clear that a great match viewing is up for grabs.