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Liverpool beat Manchester City 4-1 at the Etihad in November.

Liverpool vs. Manchester City: Who will be more motivated to win the cup?

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It's time for the first trophy of the season to be settled, but which team will want to win it more?

Liverpool will take on Manchester City at Wembley on February 28, as two of the Premier League's juggernauts collide.

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has spent nearly six months in charge of the Reds, and it's safe to say his tenure has had mixed results.

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One of their more positive results however, came against their Wembley opponents back in November, in which they demolished the Sky Blues 4-1 on their own turf.  

Since then, the former Dortmund manager has guided his team to a cup final, defeating Stoke, Southampton, Bournemouth and Carlisle in the process. 

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But just how much does it mean to Liverpool and their supporters to win the tournament?

For Klopp it keeps the pressure off. A question mark was always held against his predecessor Brendan Rodgers for not lifting any silverware in just over three years.

While the Capital One Cup is hardly regarded as the most prestigious competition in the world, to say you have lifted a cup in your first season wouldn't go amiss.  

As soon as Rodgers went through a turbulent spell during his time at Liverpool, not only would there be negative judgement on the poor results he encountered, but the fact he hadn't won a trophy would be another reason to crticise him. 

Liverpool Training Session

If the Merseyside club go into next season with a record ninth League Cup in their locker then Klopp doesn't have any pressure on himself or his team to win a domestic trophy next season. 

He could afford to rest players in the two second tier trophies - the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup - without being probed about why he isn't taking one of these competitions seriously.

That means he can then focus on getting a Champions League spot instead, which nowadays is arguably seen as more important than those domestic trophies. 

For the supporters, many of them will love a trip out to Wembley again which is often labelled 'Anfield South' by their fans.

While a lot of them would prefer to be competing for the top four positions, the fan base realise that the squad that Rodgers left Klopp isn't capable of climbing that high in the division. 

For the players, only five in the current squad have won a trophy in the English top flight. So quite a few people in that dressing room would enjoy getting their hands on lifting the trophy, even if it's not the one they truly want. 

Not to mention, most of this squad crashed out, rather embarrassingly, to Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa in the FA Cup last season. They won't want to lose again at Wembley, especially in the manner in which they did. 

Manchester City

For Manuel Pellegrini's side, this isn't a trophy that the board would have identified as something they desperately want to win. 

Nevertheless, with their season taking the turn for the worst, after losing to title rivals Leicester and Tottenham in the recent month, this could be the ideal way for City to get back on track.

The last time they won the League Cup they also went on to win the Premier League. Something that this tournament does give you, is momentum. 

A taste of some early silverware could give this City side the hunger to grab another trophy. 

One player who will have an extra incentive to win this match is Raheem Sterling. His controversial £49 million move left a bitter taste in Liverpool Fan's mouths. 

Sterling, as quoted by The Mirror said: "I am just happy to be in a squad like that and hopefully I can continue my development and win trophies in the future with the football club."

Now he has a point to prove. He has to prove that the decision to leave Liverpool and move to City was the right move. Losing to the Reds would be humiliating for the former QPR player.

FC Dynamo Kyiv v Manchester City FC  - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

Quality of course takes its part in cup finals, but sometimes it comes down to who wants it more. Sterling certainly has the motivation to beat his former club, but will the rest of his squad? 

Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph didn't join the club to only win the Capital One Cup. It looks like the City team is struggling for motivation to win England's most prize possession, how are they going to lift their spirits to win the League Cup? 

With Pep Guardiola joining the club at the end of the season, most of the players in that squad will know they will have plenty of opportunities to win much more prestigious competitions in the future, so might happily discard this one. 

It should be an interesting game, both sides have points to prove.  

Will the know-how and experience of the City squad who won this competition two years ago, help get their side over the line or will the hunger of Klopp's young side make a statement of things to come?

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Topics:
Premier League
Manchester City
Liverpool
Fernando Torres
League Cup
Football
Steven Gerrard
Sergio Aguero

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