Andy Carroll may have made little impact in Liverpool’s Premier League defeat at the Etihad Stadium recently, but his fine scoring record against Manchester City and the expected absence of Vincent Kompany means he should be picked for the Carling Cup semi final first leg.
With Luis Suarez serving his lengthy ban, Kenny Dalglish is still settling on the best approach to get optimum results without the Uruguayan striker.
Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt offer alternate options to Carroll, but a game the size of a semi final may be just the occasion for the £35m hitman to finally make a big scene.
Carroll has scored four goals in as many previous starts against Manchester City and will have certainly taken some confidence from his goal after stepping off the bench in the FA Cup success over Oldham.
Meanwhile, Manchester City are likely to be without captain Kompany unless he is successful with an appeal against his FA Cup sending off against Manchester United.
Kompany is undoubtedly Roberto Mancini’s most physical defender and would have been most adept at dealing with the power of Carroll, with the responsibility now lying with Joleon Lescott and Stefan Savic.
Carroll is 9/1 in the Carling Cup odds to open the scoring in the first leg against Manchester City, while it is 3/1 that he finds the net at any time in the 90 minutes.
The current scoring troubles being encountered by Carroll could be considered largely similar to those previously experienced by Peter Crouch after he signed for Liverpool in 2005.
Crouch went 21 games before opening his Liverpool account, but once he did manage to strike against Wigan, he went on a run of five goals in six appearances.
Something similar could be in store from Carroll.