BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson does expect Manchester City to narrowly lose their FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool this afternoon.
Lawrenson feels that heading into the game after a gruelling 90 minutes in Madrid on Wednesday evening could have an adverse impact on Pep Guardiola’s team at Wembley:
“I make Liverpool slight favourites here, because they are fresher. City had to travel to Spain in midweek, they had a gruelling game against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and picked up a couple of injuries while, on the same night, Jurgen Klopp could leave out a lot of his big-hitters against Benfica.”
“Because of that, I’m expecting City to make some changes from what is, arguably, their best team but Liverpool to be a strong as they can be – and that swings the tie for me.”
Lawrenson has gone with a 2-1 win to Liverpool, which isn’t that surprising considering that he is a former Reds player, but you do get where he is coming from in terms of the Merseyside club being the fresher team.
Guardiola has the added problem of having two key players as injury doubts. Kyle Walker sprained his ankle against Atletico, while Kevin De Bruyne had to have stitches in his calf.
With all that being said then, there is no doubt that City will be slight underdogs for the semi-final but, as we have seen in the past, they do have the quality in the squad to win any game.