Liverpool is set to face-off against Man City in the second leg of their Champions League Quarter-Finals matchup at 2:45 PM, ET. The Reds won their opening match against City 3-0 at Anfield and baring a historic collapse, they’ll cruise into the Semis. Now, call me a pessimist, but this would be such a Liverpool move to mess this up.
Both Liverpool and Man City are known for their ferocious attacks, but each team has a health concern up top. Sergio Aguero was forced to miss the first leg of the competition and Mo Salah left the same game in the second half. While I don’t necessarily think Aguero is City’s best player, he does rank first on the team in goals scored in the Premier League with 21. Salah, on the other hand, is without a doubt the Reds’ best player and is almost a shoo-in at this point for Premier League Player of the Year. If I had to guess the two players’ availabilities, I believe that Aguero will start and that Salah will be available on the bench if needed.
Another thing that both teams benefit from is their top-flight managers, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Klopp and Pep are widely regarded as two of the best managers in the world and these two fiery tacticians have breathed new life into these historic squads.
So, how do all these things add up to Liverpool potentially blowing this? First, Man City benefits from playing at home in the Ethiad. Secondly, just in the Premier League, Man City has won by 3+ goals eleven times, including a home defeat of Liverpool by 5-0 earlier in the season. And lastly, Liverpool’s defense is suspect at best. Since they’ve acquired Virgil Van Dijk and made Loris Karius their starting goalkeeper, they’ve been infinitely better, but there are still holes in their back line.
Ultimately, I believe that Liverpool will advance to the next round, but it’ll be close, and there will be plenty of goals. Life as a Reds’ supporter is going to be a stressful one today.
Man City 3 – 2 Liverpool
Liverpool advances 5 – 2 on aggregate