Paul Merson reaffirms his stance; backs Manchester City for League Cup glory

Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton and Stoke City will contest the League Cup semi-finals.

Paul Merson feels Manchester City’s squad depth will see them win the League Cup, but he doesn’t rule out the other three challengers, he wrote in his column for the Daily Star.

City advanced to the semi-finals after they beat Hull City 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium at the quarter-final stage, and they will face Everton, who defeated Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside.

Stoke City also beat Championship opponents in Sheffield Wednesday to reach the last four, where they face Liverpool after they spectacularly defeated Southampton 6-1 at St. Mary’s.

The Reds recently beat City 4-1 in the Premier League and look a solid bet to lift the trophy under boss Jurgen Klopp, yet Merson isn’t shying away from his original choice.

“I lean towards City because of their squad. But they got blown away by Liverpool so it does depend whether they show up or not. A rematch in the final would certainly be interesting,” he wrote.

“But there’s no guarantee either side will make it to Wembley. Everton are a match for anyone on their day and if they can put all their best players out, they are a very good team.

“If Liverpool played their tie tomorrow they would probably win it. But a lot can happen between now and then, and I never go against Stoke at home.”

With the semi-finals to be contested over two legs, Liverpool and City are certainly favourites to reach the final at Wembley but it isn’t a sure thing.

The competitiveness of the Premier League this season is largely a result of huge improvements at the likes of Everton and Stoke, with the latter boasting three Champions League winners in their squad.

All four teams will fancy their chances of making home advantage count and reaching the final, where at Wembley in a one-off game even the most unpredictable of outcomes can occur.

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