Man City need Silva back if they are to turn around tie with Liverpool

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It is now odds-on that Kenny Dalglish wins his first Carling Cup as a manager, as Liverpool have been cut to 8/13 for victory following their first leg victory over Manchester City.

Steven Gerrard’s penalty settled the encounter at the Etihad Stadium and it would now be a major disappointment if Liverpool do not progress to the final after winning away from home.

After previously being odds-on themselves for success, Manchester City have drifted to 5/2 in the Carling Cup odds, but there are reasons to believe that this is a big price.

Liverpool may be unbeaten at Anfield this season, but their home form has been largely uninspiring, drawing six of their ten games against opposition including Blackburn, Swansea and Norwich.

Meanwhile, perhaps most importantly Manchester City can expect to welcome back David Silva for the second leg.

After being second best in the opening period against Liverpool, Manchester City were arguably the dominant force after the interval, especially in terms of possession.

However, they lacked a real cutting edge and a player with the ability to provide a killer pass to breach a well-drilled and organised Liverpool, who were happy to get everyone behind the ball once they had taken the lead.

Silva has the ability to control the tempo of a game, play intricate passes and is Manchester City’s chief provider of goals thanks to his 14 assists already in the Premier League this season.

Liverpool will be in an awkward position in the second leg in the sense that they will not know whether to attack at home or attempt to protect what they have.

Manchester City will have to attack to reverse their deficit, even if this leaves them susceptible to any Liverpool counter attacks.

Based on the first leg, Manchester City may have trouble unlocking Liverpool again, but with Silva hovering around the final third, their chances of troubling the scorers will be greatly improved.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.