Liverpool v Manchester City


Jurgen Klopp and Manuel Pellegrini will go head-to-head on Sunday at Wembley

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has the chance to win his first English silverware in Sunday’s League Cup final, while Manuel Pellegrini will hope to end his final season at Manchester City with a trophy.

Klopp refused to discuss tactics before the game, saying: “I think even in Manchester they have televisions.”

Pellegrini has hinted he will field a strong side.

He is being replaced by Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola this summer.

The City boss, whose side are still in the Premier League title race, face the Reds in the league on Wednesday.

Last Sunday, Pellegrini named a weakened side against Chelsea in the FA Cup – losing 5-1 – with a midweek Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev in mind.

But he said: “To win a title in February gives you a lot of trust to continue fighting for other competitions.”

Head to head<!–

Team news

Liverpool midfielders Adam Lallana (calf) and Joe Allen (hamstring) and defender Martin Skrtel (also hamstring) are all back in training, although might not play.

Centre-back Dejan Lovren has recovered from illness. Boss Klopp played midfielder Lucas at centre-back in the Europa League win over Augsburg on Thursday,

Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony, winger Jesus Navas and defender Eliaquim Mangala could all return from injury at Wembley. Mangala was an unused substitute for the 3-1 win in Kiev on Wednesday.

Pellegrini is hopeful captain Vincent Kompany, former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling and right-back Bacary Sagna can play after having recovery sessions.

Fabian Delph, Kevin de Bruyne and Samir Nasri are all long-term absentees.

Elsewhere on the BBC…

What the managers say

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Man City are beatable – Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp on City’s trip back from Kiev: “I think they flew – they didn’t walk. It is not too difficult and I don’t think it is an issue.

“They will be fit. We will be fit. It is a final and no-one cares where you played your last game.

“I should not talk here about tactics – I think even in Manchester they have televisions so that is not for the press conference. You can be sure we will have a plan but it is not allowed to go with exactly the same plan in a completely different game.

“If I think about it I have a few nice pictures in my mind of after the game at Wembley, being together with our fans and a real reason to celebrate together with no doubts about why we do that.”

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Kolo Toure: Winning a cup trumps brotherly love

City lost 4-1 at home to Liverpool in November, but Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini said: “Liverpool made a very good game here at the Etihad.

“We make a lot of mistakes in the first 15 minutes so they decide the game early, but all the games are different.

“After we finish on Sunday we have to return to the Premier League, we have another 36 points to fight for. We are six points behind the leaders but we will continue fighting until the end and we are not giving up. It gives you a lot of trust if you win this title.”

Match stats

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  • This will be Liverpool’s 12th League Cup final, a record for the competition. Of the previous 11, they’ve lifted the trophy eight times – between 1981 and 2012 – most recently against Cardiff on penalties.
  • Manchester City have been in four previous League Cup finals, winning in 1970, 1976 and most recently in 2014 against Sunderland. They were runners-up in 1974, losing to Wolves.
  • This will be the first Liverpool v Manchester City final in any competition.
  • In cup competition, Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight games against City (W6 D2) – last losing in an FA Cup fourth-round replay in 1973.
  • Jurgen Klopp has now reached a cup final in each of his last five seasons as a manager, but has lost the last three. He won the DFB Cup with Dortmund in 2012, lost the Champions League final at Wembley in 2013 and lost successive German cup finals in 2014 and 2015.
  • The last eight meetings in all competitions between these sides have produced 32 goals, with both teams finding the net in each match.

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