UEFA Champions League: Liverpool v Manchester City – Anfield – April 4, 2018 – Round of 8 – 1st leg clash preview.
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Rarely do English clubs meet each other at the European level, but this is one occasion when Liverpool and Manchester City will battle it out for survival in the Round of 8 of the UEFA Champions League. The two English survivors of the five who had qualified for the hallowed European tournament are scheduled to lock horns on April 4 at Anfield for the 1st leg of the quarter-final clash.
As far as the domestic English Premier League goes, Manchester City are clear leaders being 16 and 18 points ahead of next best rivals Manchester United and Liverpool respectively. Despite their 3rd spot on the table, Liverpool's recent form matches that of City. Both led their respective clusters in the UEFA Champions group stage and registered huge away wins of 0-4 and 0-5 respectively against Basel and Maribor in the Round of 16 stage.
The clash at Anfield promises to be one where attacking football will come to the fore. While Manchester City could be a little cagey at the start, Liverpool will go all out for goals to gain the upper hand before their return trip to the Etihad on April 10.
To that end, Jurgen Klopp will look to Mo Salah who has been the Red's prime hit man with 36 goals from his 40 appearances for the club so far.
Salah is back from his international commitments for his country Egypt where his early goal almost did it for his team in a friendly against Portugal, only to be negated by two sensational goals by the incomparable Ronaldo in injury time. The other two in the Red's attacking trio have been no less impressive. Apart from Salah, Roberto Firmino with 23 goals and Sadio Mane with 14 goals would want to make an impact at Anfield on Wednesday, too.
City's Goal Scorers
For the goal-hungry City, Sergio Aguero with 30 and Raheem Sterling with 20 have accounted for half of the 100-plus goals the club has scored in this season so far.
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But these will not be just the two threats to City's defense. Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and brilliant playmaker Kevin De Bruyne will be more than a handful for a Liverpool defense that can appear vulnerable at times.
The Reds have conceded 14 goals more than their Wednesday night rivals but seem to be have stabilized somewhat at the back after the advent of the very efficient £75 million import from Southampton, Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool v Manchester City Verdict
Liverpool have been more avaracious side when it comes to UEFA Champions League getting 29 goals from their 7 matches played in the tourney so far compared to 18 for City from the same number of outings. This will be their maiden meeting in the Champions League between these two, so there is no history to go by. While this could be Manchester City's first chance at European glory, Liverpool’s rich past on that score is evidenced from the 11 titles they earned spanning years from 1972 to 2003 in the form of UEFA Cups, European Super Cups and European Cups.
Despite their stupendous recent form, Liverpool could find the going tough at Anfield against a side who have been billed as one of the leading favourites to lift the coveted European title. Bookmakers current odds are giving the visitors to Anfield a slight edge in April 4th's thrilling encounter.