Bellamy braced for City showdowns


Versatile Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy is looking forward to a month of action which sees his side face former club Manchester City in the League Cup.

A tie against the Barclays Premier League leaders was reward for beating Chelsea in the quarter-final of the competition, whilst an FA Cup clash against Manchester United in the fourth round is another huge match-up in the coming January weeks.

All things considered, it's an exciting time to be involved at Anfield, and vindicates the Welsh winger's decision to move to Merseyside rather than the other options which were on his table in August.

"This is why you play for Liverpool and this is what it brings. It's great for the supporters but I'm much happier playing and being involved in it than watching it as a fan, because when you play I find it a lot more fun because I can try to do something about the result on the field," he told the official Liverpool website.

"This is part of playing for this great club. It's not just playing Man United or Man City, it's when you travel anywhere because we are expected to win and with the crowd we have following us everywhere it makes it that more special."

A trip to the Etihad Stadium is next on the agenda for the Reds, with Kenny Dalglish's side quickly having the opportunity to right the 3-0 wrong at the same venue last week.

Bellamy didn't believe the result was a fair reflection of the game against Roberto Mancini's side, and is confident things will be different on Wednesday night.

"We are very fortunate these days that we get to see so much football and we know a lot about every Premier League team, so we know a lot about City. I am fortunate to have played for them so I have an insight into certain players that were there," he added.

"For me I didn't believe the 3-0 scoreline was quite correct and this is not just me with my Liverpool head on, but if I was watching the game as a neutral we had 66 per cent of possession which is a lot for an away side.

"It was all about taking opportunities. Pepe made a mistake for the first goal but the other goals came from a corner and a penalty. We were knocking on the door. Stewart (Downing) had a great chance and in the second half we had one or two chances we could have made more of.

"It's a two-legged match and we have to make sure we are still in the tie. We have the second leg at Anfield and this club knows all about two-legged games. This club is used to getting to semi-finals and finals and all we can do is give it our best and see where it takes us."

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