LONDON ( Associated Press) — Liverpool are dreaming of a quadruple and Manchester City are aiming for a triple.
There’s something to pay for when England’s top two teams meet in their FA Cup semi-final match at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Their 2-2 draw last weekend didn’t move the needle much in the Premier League title race as City maintained a one-point lead. It will be a different story at Wembley.
“It’s really an intense fight at a high level,” said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. “Last week the city was really strong and we were not at our best. So, I would like to see a game where we do our best.”
Liverpool won the League Cup Beating Chelsea on penalties after 120 minutes of scoreless play at Wembley in February. The intensity was “insane”, Klopp said, and he expects the same on Saturday as both sets of fans navigate around the rail closures. to go to London.
Liverpool and City have also advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League and could meet in the final in Paris next month.
City beat Atletico Madrid this week but were injured in a 0-0 draw at the expense of midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and defender Kyle Walker, which allowed the visitors to lead 1-0 on aggregate. City manager Pep Guardiola told BT Sport that “we are in big trouble” with injuries.
Fatigue is another factor, Guardiola said in his post-match press conference.
“A lot of sport on our feet,” he said. “The trip to Liverpool after the game was so demanding, and we fell in the second half (against Atletico).”
Liverpool, on the other hand, were able to rotate the players for their second leg match against Benfica at Anfield, thanks to a 3-1 lead in the first leg. They went 6–4 on aggregate after a 3–3 draw with defenders Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson being knighted. Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane came in as substitutes.
“It’s just a necessity,” Klopp said of the players resting.
No Premier League club has ever won all four trophies in a single season. Liverpool have not won the FA Cup since 2006, while City completed a home treble in 2019.
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace
Romelu Lukaku could return for Chelsea on Sunday when he plays Crystal Palace in an FA Cup semi-final match at Wembley. The Belgian striker had missed the last two matches due to a leg injury.
“Romelu was back in training yesterday,” Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday. Let’s see if they have any reaction.
Crystal Palace is the only team left that has never won the FA Cup.
Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher will have to sit out as he is on loan from Chelsea, who rejected Palace’s official request that he be allowed to play on Sunday.
Tuchel recently ran into 22-year-old Gallagher at a restaurant.
“The topic came up and I apologized because I know how competitive he is, and I like him a lot,” Tuchel said. “The rules were clear when we gave the loan.”
The cup will be a consolation for the Chelsea side, who were knocked out of the Champions League this week, ending their European title defense. It last won the FA Cup in 2018.
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