City and Liverpool fans will have been disappointed to see Crystal Palace and Cardiff paired together in the semi-final, meaning one of these great north-west clubs will miss out on the Wembley showdown.
The Citizens might have won all ten of their Premier League matches at Eastlands this term, although that hasn’t stopped the bookmakers from offering even money (bet365 – £200 free bets) about the home side claiming a first leg victory on Wednesday night.
This is also despite the fact that City claimed a 3-0 win over the same opponents last week, although they will be missing several players who lined up for that victory including the Toure brothers who are now preparing for the African Cup of Nations.
Vincent Kompany is suspended and leaves a gaping hole in central defence, while David Silva might not be risked for this match and the same applies to Edin Dzeko. However, they will still have quality in all areas including Sergio Aguero who is a stand-out 11/2 with Stan James to score the opening goal of the game.
Liverpool will be looking for revenge on Wednesday night after sloppy defensive errors saw the visitors go two goals down pretty quickly, with the Reds having had more time to prepare for this game after beating Oldham Athletic 5-1 in the FA Cup on Friday.
Ladbrokes (£50 free betting) offer 3/1 that Kenny Dalglish’s team win this match at the Etihad Stadium which would mean one foot in the Wembley final ahead of the second leg at Anfield.
Luis Suarez remains suspended for the visitors, although Steven Gerrard is getting back towards full fitness and the Pool captain is likely to be a popular bet at 11/1 to score the opening goal of the match, with Andy Carroll as big as 10/1 to find the net first.
Dalglish will certainly want his team to be defensively sounder and we could be in for a low-scoring encounter on the basis that Liverpool will be confident of finishing the job at Anfield. That explains why Under 2.5 Goals is an odds-on quote, although you can get 5/6 about two goals or less.