English duel on the European scene
England has scored five teams for eliminating the Champions League, but three of them (Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham) have already dropped. Only Liverpool and Manchester City survived, who will face each other in the quarterfinals. Both teams were relentless in the previous stage, ensuring their continuation after the first matches against Porto and Basel respectively. The two teams will transfer their rivalry from home to the highest possible level. They have never met in the European tournaments, although the Merseyside have repeatedly gone against other clubs from England. But Liverpool and City have met twice in eliminations of two League Cup matches, with both “red” winners and then winning the trophy.
Liverpool is the 1/4-final for the first time in 9 years, and Citi is only for the second time in its entire history. In this season, Anfield did not only win against Sevilla in the Champions League (2: 2). In their four households, the team scored 12 goals. Overall, the Reds are in a series of 14 games without losing their own field in European tournaments (9 wins and 5 draws) after defeating Real Madrid 0: 3 in October 2014. City has won 5 consecutive WSL games in the season, but in the final round of the group stage retreated to Shakhtar (Donetsk) by 1: 2. With the same result, the “citizens” also lost the rematch from the eighth finals against Basel, but before they defeated the Swiss team with a 4: 0 as a guest. Guardiola’s team, however, has only four wins from its last 11 Euro tournaments.
The overall balance of the matches between the two teams is as follows: 87 Liverpool victories, 45 draws and 46 City successes. This season they exchanged a home win in the Premier League. “The Citizens” defeated Juergen Klop with 5: 0 in September, and Liverpool with an attractive 4: 3 at the beginning of the year. This is the only loss of the skyscrapers in the championship. Guardiola and Clap were rivals in the Bundesliga at the head of Bayern Munich and Borussia (Dortmund) between 2013 and 2015, with Pep having a minimal advantage with 4: 3 wins. In England, the balance between them is two wins for Clap, a tie and a success for Guardiola.
Liverpool is playing strong after New Year’s Eve and has established himself in the top 4 in the Premier League, with even a real chance to finish second. The Reds did not score in just two of their last 19 games and lost only one of Anfield’s last 23. Mohamed Salah is in a murderous form and will be the biggest threat to Man City. The Egyptian will have the support of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. In the middle of the field, Clap is expected to bet on Jordan Henderson, Alex Oksley-Chamberlain, and former Citizen Soccer Player James Milner. The four in defense will be Trent Alexander-Arnold, Deyan Lovren, Virginie Van Dyke and Andrew Robertson, and Loris Karius will stand under the frame. City can legitimate its domination in England by winning the title and the theory this weekend if it defeated Manchester United’s city rival. For Guardiola’s men, however, it is important to play a strong Anfield match before. The Catalan specialist has no serious staff problems besides Sergio Aguero’s trauma. Gabriel Jezeus, Rahim Sterling and Lorey Sane will be on the attack, Kevin de Bourne, Fernandinho and David Silva will be in the halo line, and defenders at Claudio Bravo will most likely be Kyle Walker, Vincent Compani, Nicholas Otamendi and Eimerik Laporte.
Judge of the big clash will be the German Felix Brich.
Champions League, 1/4-finals:
LIVERPUL – MANCHESTER CITY
LIVERPUL (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dyke, Robertson; Oxley-Chamberlain, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Senior Coach: U. Clop
MAN CITY (4-3-3): Bravo; Walker, Company, Otamendi, Laporte; De Bourne, Fernandinho, D. Silva; Sterling, G. Jezeus, Sane
Senior coach: J. Guardiola
JUDGE: Felix Brich