Jürgen Klopp’s side are aiming to become the first English team to win all four major titles in the same season.
The ‘Reds’ already won the League Cup in February (beating Chelsea on penalties) and on Wednesday they qualified for the Champions League semi-finals after eliminating Benfica.
Before facing the Spanish Villarreal for a place in the final of the highest European club competition, Manchester City is the first major obstacle to overcome to continue aspiring to full titles.
Both teams met last weekend in the Premier League in an exciting game that ended 2-2, a tie that leaves the title in suspense with seven games to go, with City leading the ‘Reds’ by one point .
Pep Guardiola’s team is also alive in the Champions League after eliminating Atlético in the quarterfinals and having to face the other team from the Spanish capital, Real Madrid, in the semifinals.
City is also one step away from making history, since winning the three titles would become the second English team to achieve the coveted ‘clover’ (Champions, Premier League and FA Cup), equaling the feat achieved by Manchester United in the 1998-1990 season.
– The two to make history –
These historical milestones give even more interest to the duel between the two best English teams of the moment, this time with Wembley Stadium as the stage, from which the winner of the duel will come out still aspiring to everything and the loser will have to reorient his goals for the end of season.
After erasing a 14-point deficit that the ‘Reds’ had in January with respect to City, Liverpool continues to fulfill Klopp’s wish to “bother as much as possible” the current English champion.
The two league duels between the two teams this season ended 2-2, so if the tie is repeated this Saturday, they should break the tie in extra time or even on penalties.
“City were very strong last week, we were not at our best level,” admitted Klopp. “I would like to see a game in which we also gave our best”, he pointed out.
– ‘Many difficult matches’ –
As Klopp admitted, Liverpool were lucky to get out of the Etihad Stadium alive last Sunday, but they could have a significant lead going into next Saturday.
Thanks to his victory in Lisbon in the first leg (3-1), Klopp was able to give rest in the second leg against Benfica (3-3) to key men such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk, who will arrive rested for the duel.
Quite the opposite of a City that had to suffer and fight until exhaustion to keep the go-ahead goal achieved in their stadium in the second leg at the Metropolitano against Atlético de Madrid (0-0).
Despite qualifying, Guardiola acknowledged that his team has “problems” as Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker had to be substituted due to physical discomfort and Phil Foden ended up with his head bandaged after a blow received in the first half that caused an injury .
Neither De Bruyne nor Walker took part in Friday practice and their presence on Saturday seems unlikely.
In addition, the Spanish midfielder Rodri also admitted that the tight schedule was taking its toll: “It’s crazy. We have had these two games against Atlético, the other day against Liverpool. These are games that demand 100% and now we have Liverpool again too many difficult games at the same time, but this is how it is, ”he explained.
“We have to refresh our minds, recover physically and give the best version in this match,” he added.
A day later, on the same stage, Chelsea and Crystal Palace will look for the other ticket to the grand final.
The ‘Blues’ start as favourites, but it will be necessary to see how they respond to the European elimination (against Real Madrid) and the fact that they have fallen in recent weeks, leaving the Londoners with no chance of fighting for the Premier League title .
Thomas Tuchel’s men, however, can take positive things from elimination in the Champions League, after being able to lift at the Bernabéu the 1-3 against suffered in their stadium, to end up losing the tie in extra time (2- 3).