Roberto Mancini – Manchester City
Roberto Mancini has been given a further selection headache following the dismissal of defender Vincent Kompany in their FA Cup loss with rivals Manchester United on Sunday, with the Belgian currently banned for four games.
City have lodged an appeal, but the chances of them having the decision overturned is unlikely and with fellow defender Kolo Toure on duty with Cote d’Ivoire, Mancini will most likely be forced to bring in youngster Stefan Savic.
Kolo’s brother Yaya Toure is also participating in the Africa Cup of Nations and he should be replaced by Gareth Barry, who didn’t see any game time at the weekend as he served his suspension for his red card picked up in the 3-0 league win over Liverpool. Sergio Aguero could be rested for the midweek League Cup tie, which could see Mario Balotelli return to the starting XI, with Edin Dzeko having picked up a knee problem that is expected to keep him out until next week.
The visitors to the Etihad Stadium have no fresh injury worries, but will have striker Luis Suarez miss the third of his eight-match ban, leaving Andy Carroll to step into the Uruguayan’s boots after a good cameo showing against Oldham on Friday evening.
Stewart Downing’s weekend escapades may have manager Kenny Dalglish believing the former Villa man not to be in the right frame of mind to feature, allowing Jordan Henderson the possibly of a place in the starting line-up.
- Wednesday’s visitors hold a host of records in the competition, including most tournament wins (seven), most appearances in the final (10) and biggest win (10-0 against Fulham in 1983).
- The competition was founded over 50 years ago. It originally begun in 1960, thanks mainly to the clubs of the Football League setting up floodlights in their grounds, allowing for midweek evening fixtures.
- Liverpool were the last side to win the tournament before it took on a sponsor in 1981, with backer Dairy Crest coming in and the competition becoming The Milk Cup.
- Current Reds boss Kenny Dalglish (pictured right) shares the record for most appearances in the final for an individual, playing in five, the same amount as fellow Liverpool legend Ian Rush.
- This is Liverpool’s 13th semi-final and they have succeeded in seven first legs at this stage.