Manchester City and Liverpool head the list of teams hoping for a berth in the League Cup semifinals this week as the competition reaches the quarterfinal stage without several big teams.
With Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and holders Chelsea having fallen by the wayside, City and Liverpool will have started setting their sights on the February 28 final at Wembley.
City, who host second-tier Hull City on Tuesday, won 3-1 against Southampton at the weekend and having lost to Liverpool and Juventus in their two previous games, goalkeeper Willy Caballero hopes Saturday’s success proves a turning point.
“We need to play like this the next game,” he told the club website.
“In December, if we play in this way, if the injured players return, like David Silva today (Saturday), I think we will stay in the first positions of the table.”
Caballero is in line to deputise again for the injured Joe Hart, while manager Manuel Pellegrini must decide whether to hand a start to influential striker Sergio Aguero, who went off with a knock against Southampton.
“We must try to recover the players for Tuesday,” said Pellegrini. “It’s important for us to reach the semifinal of the League Cup.”
Liverpool face a tough trip to Southampton on Wednesday, but they will go into the game having lost only one of the 10 games they have played since Jurgen Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers as manager.
Klopp saw his team beat Swansea City 1-0 on Sunday courtesy of a James Milner penalty and was also boosted by the returns from injury of captain Jordan Henderson and striker Daniel Sturridge.
“It’s good news. They are very important players and they did well,” said Klopp, who revealed that Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho could face Southampton despite sitting out Sunday’s game with a hamstring complaint.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate