| Saturday, April 16th |
FA Cup Semi-Final | Wembley Stadium, London
3:30PM BST/10:30AM EST
Manchester City are allegedly without Kyle Walker and Kevin De Bruyne following injuries to the pair in Madrid. While manager Pep Guardiola assessed his side as being “in big trouble” with injuries, it would not be the first time that injured players miraculously recovered ahead of a big weekend match. We can expect the return of Rúben Dias.
City did have a tough match on Wednesday, as Atletico Madrid made them do a lot of mental and physical work to achieve a 0-0 draw (and progression) in the Champions League. As Jürgen Klopp pointed out in his own press conference, us not having to travel is an advantage, leaving aside the varying intensities of the two games.
Of course, playing two high intensity matches against us and Atletí in a short period of time might allow Manchester City to be in perfect rhythm for the weekend; we will have to wait and see what the impacts are, if any.
As we played City in the league last week we know their plan and their approach. Hopefully we’re better at facing it this time out.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mané, Díaz
Liverpool are in a good place with injuries. Diogo Jota took a knock against Benfica which had some swelling, but Klopp was not overly concerned post-match and he will likely be available for the semi-final.
You might expect Liverpool to start the same way as last weekend, though there’s an argument for both Luis Díaz and Roberto Firmino, who scored a brace midweek, joining the starting line-up. I doubt many would have qualms with seeing either of them — or, indeed, Jota — to start. This is, in fact, the delight of having a strong squad.
Liverpool did not play well in the first half against Manchester City last weekend. Rather than any major tactical tweaks, the Reds will look to improve on that performance, being smarter on the ball and playing with more control.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “We were not at our best [last weekend]. I would like to see a game where we are at our best as well. [laughing] So let’s give that a go.”
Pep Guardiola: ““We cannot forget we played three days ago a tough game against Liverpool. We came here, we have a lot of injuries.”
Referee: Michael Oliver Assistant Referees: Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett Fourth Official: Kevin Friend VAR: Darren England Assistant VAR: Lee Betts
Kickoff is set for 3:30PM BST/10:30AM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.