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Capital One Cup draw: Liverpool face Stoke; Everton handed Manchester City


Capital One Cup favorites Liverpool and Manchester City were kept on different halves of tournament’s semifinal draw, leaving the 2012 and 2014 winners on course for a meeting in Feb. 28’s final. To get there, though, each team must navigate January’s two-legged semifinals, with Stoke and Everton hoping upsets can land each club in a sought-after cup final.

Everton avoided a meeting with their primary rivals, Liverpool, but drew Premier League-leading Manchester City on Wednesday night. City, who claimed their third League Cup nearly two years ago, are unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Toffees, posting four wins since Everton defeated them 2-0 at Goodison Park on March 16, 2013.

SEE MORE: Tuesday’s Capital One Cup results | Liverpool routes Southampton

Stoke City has had greater success against Liverpool, winning twice in the last six meetings between the clubs, while also tasting recent if relative success in recent cup competition. Under then-manager Tony Pulis, Stoke reached the final of the 2011 FA Cup before losing to Manchester City, 1-0.

Liverpool has won the League Cup a record eight times, having reached 11 finals. Manchester City has appeared in four finals, with Stoke claiming the title in 1972. Everton, despite reaching finals in 1977 and 1984, has never won the League Cup.

Despite Liverpool’s resurgence under new manager Jurgen Klopp, they are still second favourites in the winner’s betting stakes on behind league leaders Manchester City. Liverpool beat City 3-1 at the Etihad earlier this season, and a Wembley final plus a first trophy for Liverpool might just be the edge they need to beat City again.

To do that though, they need to beat Stoke first, while Everton will be hoping that they are the only Merseyside team getting into the final.

Everton and Stoke will host the first semifinal legs during the week of Jan. 4. Manchester City and Liverpool host the return legs during the week of Jan. 26.

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