Liverpool v Stoke, Tuesday, 7.45pm, SS1
Liverpool may think they’ve done the hard part by winning 1-0 at the Britannia but this contest isn’t over just yet. The Reds amazing win over Norwich at the weekend showed us that they can be good, very good and awful – in the space of 90 minutes.
Stoke will come here and believe they can exploit the home side’s weaknesses and the first goal will be very important.
If Liverpool hit the net first, they’ll go 2-0 up on aggregate and you’d imagine that they’ll book their Wembley final place fairly comfortably.
However, if Stoke were to score – then it’s game on.
I’ve been in situations when you’re protecting a lead in the second-leg and it’s not always easy. Liverpool will want to play with confidence but also need to exercise caution so that they don’t let the visitors score early.
Stoke will at least want to be involved by half-time so they mightn’t go all-out until the second period.
I fancy Liverpool to win 2-1 on the night at (3-1 on aggregate) with Roberto Firmino hitting the net first and keeping his run going.
If you’re feeling lucky the scorecast here pays 25/1.
Manchester City v Everton, Wednesday, 7.45pm, SS1
This should be a good game – especially with City being a goal down after the 2-1 defeat in the first leg at Goodison Park.
The sides drew 0-0 here in the Premier League a few weeks ago where the Toffees defended really well. Manuel Pellegrini’s side will need to press the game early here to at least get back on level terms but I can’t see Everton taking too many risks.
The home side weren’t great against West Ham but there were a lot of changes made with one eye on this game. My heart says Everton but I feel City will have too much for them. I fancy them to score a few and 3-1 on the night could be the play.
Romelu Lukaku hasn’t scored in three games for the visitors so will want to put that right. Raheem Sterling or Kevin De Bruyne could be little of value in the first goalscorer market for City but star striker Sergio Aguero is red-hot at the moment (four goals in two games) and those odds look very tempting.