The names Manchester City and Liverpool jump off the page as Carling Cup semifinalists, and one's first reaction to seeing them on the schedule is that this could be a memorable glamour tie. Due to injuries, suspensions and international call-ups, it is hardly a that at the moment. Sure, it will still be a very watchable tie and these teams are still better than mid-table sides and relegation fodder, but a lot of the glamour is gone.
Luis Suarez is still suspended for Liverpool, while Vincent Kompany recently picked up a suspension for City. Lucas Leiva is out with a long-term injury, while David Silva is doubtful for the Citizens and Yaya Toure is away on international duty. Those five players are almost certainly the five best players between these two teams, and they will not play in the first leg of this tie.
There is some good news for both teams, however. Gareth Barry is back from suspension and will play for City. Steven Gerrard went 90 minutes in the FA Cup match against Oldham and appears to be back to full fitness. It's not all doom and gloom in the Northeast, but this could have been a lot more fun.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, January 11, 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. local
Venue: Ethiad Stadium, Manchester, England
TV: FOX Soccer Plus (USA), Sky Sports 1 (UK)