Manchester City vs Liverpool news: Penalties may be needed to settle Wembley showdown

The two Premier League giants lock horns again in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final and it could take longer than 90 minutes to find a winner.

After playing out a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Etihad last weekend, Manchester City and Liverpool go toe-to-toe once more in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday.

This could yet be the second part of a late-season trilogy if the Premier League's top two meet in the Champions League final as well.

That's a live possibility after both booked their places in the last four in midweek, City coming through a tense battle against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool seeing off Benfica.

When: Saturday, April 16, 15:30 BST

Where: Wembley

How to watch: BBC One

Follow this game via our score centre

Who is the ref for Manchester City vs Liverpool

Michael Oliver is the man in the middle at Wembley.

Michael Oliver, Premier League, referee

The Northumberland official also took charge of Liverpool in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Arsenal, showing a red card to Granit Xhaka.

He booked just one player (Harry Maguire) when he refereed City in last month's Manchester derby.

Season stats 2021/22: All matches (35), yellows (115), reds (6), penalties (11)

Recent form

Liverpool had been rock solid at the back after conceding just four goals in 14 matches between early February and early April.

But the spotlight has fallen on their high defensive line again after the Reds conceded five times in the last two matches.

However, with their attack still firing, Liverpool avoided defeat in both games, drawing 2-2 with City and 3-3 with Benfica in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Diogo Jota Liverpool Man City Apr22

Liverpool's only defeat since December 28 came in a home Champions League game when they were turned over 1-0 by Inter Milan last month.

City also come into the game on the back of two draws: the Liverpool game and the battling 0-0 stalemate away to Atletico Madrid that saw them squeeze through to the Champions League semis 1-0 on aggregate.

Overall, City have won just three of their last seven games although they've only let in three goals during that run.

Man City and Liverpool players in form

With Mo Salah suffering a drought by his own lofty standards, Liverpool's other frontmen have come to the fore.

Diogo Jota, who equalised at the Etihad, has scored in each of his last four domestic games, Sadio Mane has two in three while Roberto Firmino netted a brace in the 3-3 draw against Benfica.

Liverpool's full-backs continue to set up chance after chance and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have 31 assists between them this season in all competitions.

Foden

Kevin De Bruyne put City in front in last week's Premier League game and the Belgian was probably the best player on the pitch.

The goals are flowing for KDB and he's hit six in his last seven games.

Phil Foden also shone against Liverpool while, in the continued absence of Ruben Dias, regulars Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Joao Cancelo have been key in helping City maintain the best defensive record in the top-flight.

Last three meetings

Man City 2-2 Liverpool (April 10, 2022)

City came out fast and De Bruyne's deflected left-foot strike put them ahead after five minutes but Liverpool hit back soon after when Jota slid home Alexander-Arnold's cushioned pass.

The hosts deservedly regained the lead through Gabriel Jesus to head into the break 2-1 up but they were caught cold straight after the resumption when Salah slid in Mane to side-foot home.

City thought they'd gone ahead for a third time but Raheem Sterling's 'goal' was given offside by VAR after he'd been fed through by De Bruyne.

Liverpool 2-2 Man City (October 3, 2022)

The first meeting between the two heavyweights this season also saw four goals shared, this time City twice coming from behind.

Foden (69) wiped out Mane's opener (59) before Liverpool looked to have won it thanks to a dazzling piece of footwork and strike from Salah on 76.

But City hit back again as De Bruyne curled in a left-footed equaliser nine minutes from time.

Liverpool 1-4 Man City (February 7, 2021)

It's hard to compute that Liverpool lost six home Premier League games on the spin last season. This was the third of them and the biggest drubbing.

Liverpool were actually still level with less than 20 minutes left after Salah's penalty wiped out Ilkay Gundogan's 49th-minute opener.

But the visitors ran amok late on. Gundogan added his second, Sterling netted against his former team and Foden thrashed home a beauty to complete the rout.

Past 10 meetings

Man City wins: 3

Draws: 5

Liverpool wins: 2

Man City scored: 18

Liverpool scored: 13

Managers' thoughts

Jurgen Klopp believes if Liverpool are able to raise their level from their 2-2 draw with Man City last week, they are in with a very good chance of progression.

"City were really strong last week and we were not at our best," he said

"So, I'd like to see a game where we are at our best. It would be interesting so why don't we give that a try? I know that we can perform to a different level."

Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, is worried Man City's Champions League war with Atletico Madrid will have taken too much of a toll on his players. 

"We are in big trouble," he said after the game in Madrid. "We played against a tough Liverpool [team], travelled, came here and have a lot of injuries right now."

Predicted Man City vs Liverpool teams

Manchester City emerged with some war wounds after their fierce battle away to Atletico Madrid.

Foden's bandaged head shouldn't keep him out but there are concerns over De Bruyne and Kyle Walker after the pair picked up ankle knocks.

van dijk de bruyne

If the latter is out, Oleksandr Zinchenko could come in at left-back, with Cancalo switching flanks.

Possible Man City starting line-up: Ederson, Cancelo, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko, Rodri, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Grealish, Jesus, Sterling.

Liverpool's only worry from the Benfica game was a knock to Jota but that's not a major concern and otherwise it's a clean bill of health.

Klopp made seven changes against Benfica in a bid to lighten the load on some of his star men so there should be returns for Salah, Mane, Thiago (all those three came on as subs in midweek), Alexander-Arnold, Robertson and Virgil van Dijk.

If Jota isn't quite ready, Firmino could retain his starting position while Luis Diaz will also be pushing for a place.

Possible Liverpool starting line-up: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Mane, Firmino, Salah.

Man City vs Liverpool prediction

Two Premier League games haven't been able to separate this pair and there's a chance that 90 more minutes and even 120 won't either.

City certainly had the better of last week's meeting despite the similar XGs but De Bruyne's fitness has to be a concern and that could sway it Liverpool's way if he's ruled out.

Mo Salah penalty miss vs Leicester Dec21

Expect both teams to score but there's a fair chance the drama could extend to extra time and then a penalty shootout.

Delving into the history books, Liverpool have won 16 of their 25 shootouts while Man City have triumphed in eight of 11.

Even those numbers are similar so this could come down to the very finest of margins.

READ MORE: Pep Guardiola shrugs off Atletico Madrid antics after Man City make Champions League semis

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