UCL Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester City

UCL Preview: Liverpool vs Manchester City
Source: BBC
Date: 04-04-2018 Time: 08:04:27:am

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been ruled out of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg at Liverpool with a knee injury.

Aguero has missed the past five games for City and Argentina with the injury.

"Sergio is much better but doctors spoke to him today and he said he still has a little bit of a problem and isn't comfortable," said boss Pep Guardiola.

Liverpool have defensive injury problems, with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan all missing.

Who will win Champions League 'battle of the attacks'?

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has told his side to "write our own history" as they prepare to face the runaway Premier League leaders for a place in the last four of Europe's top club competition.

City will wrap up the title on Saturday if they beat Manchester United - with Liverpool the only team to beat them all season in the league.

"It is a big game against one of the best teams in Europe, if not the best team in Europe at the moment," said Klopp on Tuesday. "We are not in the quarter-finals by coincidence.

"Yes, we beat Manchester City a few months ago - we knew before the game it was possible. With our skills, we can cause them problems.

"It is a big job to do. Manchester City are a special team. They deserve to be the champions of the Premier League. In football it is not about being the best, it is about being perfectly prepared for the next game. It is not about yesterday, it is about tomorrow.

"It is clear City's confidence is on an outstandingly high level, but we are in a good moment as well. They have a chance because they win wherever they go, but we can win football games as well."

Liverpool have won the European Cup five times, most recently in 2005.

"This club is already so full of history and we have to write our own history," said German Klopp.

"We need to be proud of our history but need to create our own. I did that a lot in the past with my former teams. Borussia Dortmund had a lot of history, but at one point you need to do your own things."

Manchester City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne says Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, his rival for player of the year, is having an "unbelievable" season.


Egyptian Salah has scored 37 goals since his summer move from Roma, while Belgium international De Bruyne has assisted 20 goals and scored 11.

"To score that many goals in a season is unbelievable," said De Bruyne.

"No-one expected it but he hit the ground running and Liverpool are an attacking force with the way the front three work together."

Of his own performances, De Bruyne said "it probably is the most complete" season he has had.

City boss Guardiola says he will not change his attacking approach at Anfield.

"If I said we are going to do it differently to how we have done, my players would look at me and say: 'The guy is scared - the manager doesn't trust us.' That would be a big mistake," said the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager.

"We accept we are favourites but to do something in this competition you have to feel you are favourites.

"We come here to play football. Hopefully everybody - our fans and Liverpool fans - can be correct and polite. It is a game, a sport. We cannot forget that, as good as the rivalry is."

MATCH FACTS

This is the 10th Champions League knockout tie between English clubs in the Champions League, six of these have involved Liverpool, including this tie.

Liverpool and Manchester City will meet for the 179th time, but this is their first meeting in European competition.

Klopp has won five matches against Guardiola - more than any other manager (excluding shootouts). Two of these victories have come in four attempts as Liverpool boss.

Including qualifiers, this will be the Reds' 11th Champions League match this season - they are unbeaten in their 10 so far, winning six and keeping a clean sheet in five.

Liverpool have not lost a home match in European competition since October 2014 - against Real Madrid - and are unbeaten in 14 European games at Anfield.

The Reds are the top-scoring team in the Champions League this season with 28 goals. The record for an English team in a single Champions League campaign is 32 by Manchester United in 2002-03.

Of the eight remaining sides in this season's competition, Liverpool (25 years 311 days) and Manchester City (26 years 134 days) have had the youngest average starting XIs.

Manchester City winger Leroy Sane has scored three goals in his two appearances against Liverpool this term.

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has been involved in 10 goals (seven goals, three assists) in the Champions League this season - only Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in more (14).

 

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