Liverpool - Manchester City preview: sky Blues eager to replicate cup triumph at Anfield

After Sunday's drama, we gear once more in what will be Manuel Pellegrini's final game against Liverpool as the sky Blues look for their first win at Anfield since 2003.

Liverpool - Manchester City preview: sky Blues eager to replicate cup triumph at Anfield
Picture source: Getty Images

After Sunday's thrilling cup final and penalty shootout, Manuel Pellegrini will be preparing for the final encounter with the Merseyside club this season, with the Reds no doubt out for revenge.

Last time out - a memorable City victory

I feel that this doesn't need much explaining but for those of you who were out of touch all weekend, the two clubs clashed in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.

Both sides attacked the game with intensity with Fernandinho and Philippe Coutinho scoring respectively, however the two sides couldn't be separated after extra time. It all came down to penalties with Willy Caballero becoming star of the show, saving three out of four of Liverpool's penalties, it came down to Yaya Touré to seal the victory, sending the blue half of Wembley into raptures. 

Team news

Manchester City are almost back to full strength with only Kevin de Bruyne, Samir Nasri, Fabian Delph and Yaya Touré absent, with de Bruyne hoping to be fit in time for City's seemingly impending Champions League quarter-final fixture.  

Liverpool meanwhile are almost at the full complement of players with only Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Kevin Stewart and Lucas Leiva absent. Mamadou Sakho remains a doubt after a clash of heads with teammate Emre Can, saw the Frenchman leaving play early on in Sunday's final.

What they are saying

Pellegrini spoke of how Raheem Sterling has had to adjust this season and has every faith in him that he'll suceed at Manchester City. When addressing the press ahead of kick-off, the Chilean described Raheem as a young man, who's still just "starting his career", but he already "knows how to deal with pressure."

On the atmosphere that he'll receive, playing against his former employers, Pellegrini said that he'll "play without a problem", and will be "very important", just like he was on the weekend.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp backed his somewhat distraught goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet, to put his experience behind him and keep moving forward.

"There was no day when somebody, outside Melwood, was 100 percent satisfied with whatever he did. He has had a lot of good games for us, really good games."

He said the former Sunderland 'keeper is "old and experienced enough", to be able to handle various tough situations and prove his mental strength to bounce back from frustrating defeats and disappointing individual performances.

Verdict 

After Sunday's exploits I expect both sides to be somewhat fatigued, I think it'll be a case of whether the dramatic victory has galvanised the City squad into producing a serious title charge or that the cruel defeat has left Liverpool seeking revenge. Either way don't expect it to be a tame affair between these two - both ultimately want maximum points as the season continues to intensify.