Silva worth his weight in gold to City
Liverpool v Man City - Wednesday 19:45 - live on Sky Sports 1
When the full time whistle blew at the Etihad just over a fortnight ago, Liverpool had seized the advantage with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Steven Gerrard penalty. However fast forward to today and the momentum may well lie with Manchester City after an unbelievable last minute win against title rivals Tottenham while Liverpool were truly dismal as they were comfortably beaten by a very poor Bolton team.
Back to that first leg though and Liverpool were impressive in the way they repelled City throughout and defended staunchly. If they can stop the Citizens from scoring once again they will qualify (2/5) for their eleventh League Cup final. The Reds have won seven of those, making them the most successful club in the competition's history.
The ‘To Qualify' market has also grabbed the attention of the William Hill Match Winner offer for this tie. City are bidding to overturn this second leg match at Anfield, and if they can manage it you'll find a price of 2/1 on offer, enhanced from 7/4.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish could make changes to his team following the disappointing defeat at the Reebok on Saturday but Jay Spearing remains a doubt and Luis Suarez is still unavailable due to suspension.
Manchester City have until 6pm on Wednesday evening to appeal the FA charge against Mario Balotelli for violent conduct, however, the league-leaders are expected to accept the four-game ban meaning the Italian will not be available for the trip to Anfield. His stamp on Scott Parker on Sunday was missed by Howard Webb at the time but video evidence has been used to convict him. Edin Dzeko is therefore likely to start up top.
City captain Vincent Kompany sits out the last game of his suspension so that means Stefan Savic should start. Savic looked shaky against Liverpool in the first leg, giving away a penalty, and almost cost his side the game against Tottenham in the dying seconds but his howler was not punished when Defoe couldn't connect with Bale's centre.
This is Liverpool's first home match in this season's Carling Cup and the hosts are priced at 7/4 to win the game in 90 minutes. The visitors can be backed at 9/t while the draw is 19/10.
For me, the key to the tie lie in the boots of magic man David Silva. If the Spanish maestro can deliver another sparkling performance, not even Steven Gerrard will be able to stop him. Silva can be backed at 8/1 to open the scoring and 6/4 to notch anytime.
My tip for the game is for City to win 3-1 at a price of 22/1. Liverpool were well and truly humbled by Bolton last time out and I think that Dalglish may be realizing that some of his buys just don't cut the mustard. I expect City to put their recent indifferent form behind them and book their place at Wembley.