Manchester City v Liverpool: Carling Cup Preview

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Manchester City v Liverpool; Etihad Stadium; Carling Cup; Wednesday 11 January 2012, 19:45

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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany begins his four-game ban after failing in his appeal against the red card received in last weekend's FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.

Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and David Silva are doubtful for tonight's clash, but Roberto Mancini will be boosted by the return of Gareth Barry who is back from his suspension.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will welcome back Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel to his starting line-up after all four defenders were rested for the FA Cup clash with Oldham.

Reds captain Steven Gerrard is also expected to start, as he steps up his injury comeback.

Clarke confident ahead of City clash

As Liverpool prepare to face Manchester City for the second time in the space of a week, assistant manager Steve Clarke insists the squad are eager to show their true colours after last week's defeat.

The Reds went down 3-0 in the Barclays Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium - a result that Clarke suggests flattered the home side, and didn't tell the whole story.

"If you sit and analyse the game, which we've done quite a lot since, we have shown the players some things they did quite well during the game and some things obviously they didn't do very well," he told

"Anybody who watched the game and is honest I think would say that 3-0 was not a fair reflection of the game, but it's up to us to make sure we turn that around and we do well."

In the two games against City so far in 2011-12, Liverpool have struggled to break down a resolute defence, but Clarke is confident that the Reds have the players to cause Roberto Mancini's side problems.

"We have to play better, I don't think there's any doubt about that," he added. "If we can find that extra bit of quality and add a little bit more to our game then I'm sure we will get a good result.

"When you play against any of the top teams, and we consider ourselves to be a top team, the fewer mistakes you make the better and obviously you have to try and produce moments of quality that can turn the game.

"Obviously an away goal would help but there's no need to put ourselves under extra pressure to get an away goal.

"If you are talking about how we get a positive scoreline to bring back to Anfield for the second leg then I think somewhere along the line we probably will score a goal, and that's the way we have to approach it."

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