The Merseyside clubs have the early advantage after the first leg semi-final games of the Capital One Cup, with Liverpool managing to do it on a cold night in Stoke, and Everton edging out Manchester City thanks to a late goal from that man Romelu Lukaku. So will the oldest derby in the English top-flight be coming to the capital?
Liverpool and Everton haven’t had much joy this season, with both clubs experiencing problems in the Premier League. Liverpool go into their semi-final clash with Stoke on the back of a truly memorable 5-4 thriller at Carrow Road against Norwich at the weekend. The eventual winner in that match will certainly give the team a lift going into Tuesday’s game, but manager Jurgen Klopp will be bemoaning his sides defensive fragilities.
Stoke certainly are a side who can take full advantage of a team with a leaky defence, as they boast one of the most exciting front-three in the country. Their attacking trio of Arnautovic, Shaqiri and Bojan have earned plenty of plaudits so far this season, whilst young goalkeeper Jack Butland has been in fine form between the sticks.
Liverpool will be eager to build on their first leg advantage and secure a place in the final. It’s the general consensus around Anfield that this season is virtually a write-off, with next seasons promise of new signings and fresh ideas from their enigmatic manager breathing optimism into their beleaguered fans.
Everton will clearly be nervous about heading to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City. It’s been another strange season for City, who’ve been excellent in their home games and will be particularly pleased by the form and performances of summer signings Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, whilst the likes of Joe Hart and David Silva have been their usual reliable selves. Sergio Ageuro also looks like he’s back to his best; the Argentinian has struggled for fitness this season, but his two goals against West Ham topped off a truly brilliant performance. Everton should be wary.
The Toffees go into Wednesday evenings game after their weekend humiliation at the hands of Swansea City. The Swans were in the bottom-four of the Premier League going into the match, but took advantage of some sloppy defending and Everton’s generally poor home form this season. They’ll be once again relying on top-scorer Lukaku and the brilliance of Ross Barkley to get them through a tricky second leg.
The odds for the semi-games are on the Betfect site now. The Capital One Cup semi-final games are a perfect opportunity to get involved with the new Betfect competition! The Capital One Cup competition will allow Betfect users to win FREE bets worth up to £100 on a successful bet with the highest odds. Remember to share your bets on Facebook or Twitter with #BetfectCompetition! The competition ends before midnight on the 28th February 2016. Click the links for more details.
(Pictures from the Liverpool Echo)