Preview: Carling Cup - Manchester City vs. Liverpool

Preview: Carling Cup - Man City vs. Liverpool
© PA Photos
North West rivals Manchester City and Liverpool will meet on Wednesday for the right to face Championship opposition in the final of the Carling Cup.

Liverpool travel to Manchester City on Wednesday evening knowing that the winner of their two-legged semi-final will face Championship opposition in the final of the Carling Cup.

That incentive should spur both managers to name strong teams for the meeting at the Etihad Stadium.

Having recently seen his side lose 3-0 against City, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish may hand skipper Steven Gerrard his second start in as many matches as he steps up recovery from a groin injury.

Luis Suarez is still serving his suspension for racist remarks made towards Patrice Evra, meaning that Craig Bellamy may be in line to face his former club.

City manager Roberto Mancini will have to wait until later on Tuesday to find out whether captain Vincent Kompany will be available. The Belgian is currently challenging the red card that he received during the weekend's Manchester derby.

Should Kompany's appeal fail, young centre-back Stefan Savic may take his place.

Edin Dzeko is also likely to earn recall, while Mario Balotelli remains an injury doubt.

Current form:

Man City: WWDLWL
Liverpool: WDDWLW

Possible lineups:

Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Savic, Lescott, Richards; Johnson, Barry, Hargreaves, Nasri; Silva; Dzeko.

Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Downing, Gerrard, Spearing, Kuyt; Carroll, Bellamy.

Sports Mole says: 2-1

Roberto Mancini
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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