FA Cup: Clash of the titans as Manchester City and Liverpool lock horns
After the Premier League title contenders met last weekend, Man City and Liverpool will meet again this Saturday – and this time, one team will have to win.
After the Premier League title contenders met at the Etihad last weekend, Manchester City and Liverpool will meet again this Saturday – and this time, one team will have to win.
While when it comes to the title race, advantage is with Manchester City, who hold a one-point lead at the top, Pep Guardiola’s side will be looking to land the treble – and the latest football odds predict City to come out on top at Wembley at the weekend to secure their place in the final. History is in their favour, as City are five games unbeaten over their rivals – a run that extends back to November 2019.
However, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool are in red-hot form and will want to spoil the party as they go in search of a historic quadruple – never seen before in English football. The Merseyside club have already won the EFL Cup this season, and will be hungry for more.
In both their Premier League encounters this campaign, the spoils have been shared. Back in November, the Citizens were forced to come from behind twice to secure a point at Anfield, while in their most recent meeting, it was the hosts who took the lead, only to be pegged back twice.
This time, there is no honours even, and no replay should the scores be tied after 90 minutes. If extra time and penalties are needed, then so be it – although with both teams still competing in multiple competitions, and the final handful of fixtures coming thick and fast, neither manager will really want the tie to extend the regulation time.
Both teams will have learnt lessons from their league encounter last week. City flew out the traps and, on another day, could have been several goals up prior to Liverpool pegging them back early on. Guardiola’s side dominated the first half, and could have felt hard done by that they didn’t do enough to snatch the three vital points. The Reds started slowly, and will need to be more up-for-it if they wish to make the Wembley final.
However, you have to admire the resilience shown by the Merseyside club – to come from a goal down twice in a game shows real character, and Klopp’s side were relentless in their quest for points on the board – which kept the title race alive. The match was like a boxing match – and while both clubs have real quality – neither could land that knockout blow.
It’s a massive week for both Liverpool and City, who contest the second legs of their Champions League quarter-finals – the former hosting Benfica at Anfield, and the latter, travelling to Madrid to take on Atlético. Just three days later will the two meet at London’s iconic Wembley Stadium, where for one, the dream of silverware will be over.
And there’s no time for tiredness or nerves, with just seven Premier League matches left of this season. At this stage, dropped points could well dictate where the title will be headed.
It’s set to be another pulsating encounter at the weekend, and while after Sunday’s match, player-turned-pundit Alan Shearer said that “neither side deserve to finish second”, for one of them that will be the case – and unfortunately, we won’t see one the Premier League’s titans in this season’s FA Cup final too.