By Carl Markham, PA
Jason McAteer accepts there can be no room for error by Liverpool in their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
England’s two best teams meet at Wembley on Saturday just six days after their 2-2 Premier League draw at the Etihad Stadium.
McAteer admits one-off games were always the most nervous for him because there was so much to lose.
“I always felt there were more nerves in a one-off game. It’s a one hit, it is this or nothing, you can’t rectify a mistake by doing something in the second leg,” he told the PA news agency.
“My heart says Liverpool but my head says it is the toughest team they could face in world football because we know on their day how good City are.
“It certainly gets the nerves going.”
Liverpool have already tasted success this season having won the Carabao Cup after an epic penalty shoot-out against Chelsea in February.
That was the club’s first visit to Wembley in six years and their first victory there since 2012.
“I think the boys have been absolutely exceptional juggling things and getting a cup in the cabinet has given them a nice bit of momentum and confidence,” added the former right-back, speaking at a Forever Reds charity golf day which raised money for local charities.
“I think there is a passion and desire to go back. There was a lot of emotion down at Wembley for the League Cup, an amazing experience, one which I felt was very close to the Champions League final.
“It was great for the fans but also great for the players to whet their appetite to bring more success to the club.”
Liverpool could yet face City again this season in the Champions League final in Paris next month as both have reached the last four.
“This is what happens. The best teams will end up in this position come the end of the season because they win the most matches and end up in semi-finals and finals,” said McAteer.
“We have seen two exceptional teams pushing each other to ridiculous records over the last three or four seasons so it is inevitable they will meet at some point.
“We’ve got them in the semi but we could also meet them in the final of the Champions League, looking beyond that as we are able to do as fans.”