MANCHESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool face off against Manchester City tomorrow afternoon in a huge title decider at the Etihad stadium. Just one point separates the two sides with eight games remaining. Here’s how we think Jürgen Klopp will line his side up for the encounter.
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Both sides have had enough time to recover and prepare for the game, having last played on Tuesday night in the Champions League. It makes for an exciting encounter with Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola sure to go full strength in this mammoth clash.
Every single member of the Liverpool squad is available for the match, with the gaffer having a full complement to choose from. It makes for a few selection headaches (in midfield and attack especially).
Alisson will continue in goal, with the Brazilian coming face to face with his rival for the Golden Glove, his counterpart Ederson. Ali was just named Liverpool’s Player of the month for March, a recognition of his excellent run of form.
Ahead of him is likely to be the first choice back four. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will be at right and left back respectively, with Matip partnering Van Dijk in the heart of defence. This after Joel was given a breather in midweek with Konaté taking his place.
In midfield, Fabinho and Thiago are certain starters you feel. The duo have a great partnership, with Liverpool winning 21 and drawing one of the 23 matches they have started together. The only defeat in that sequence was the 1-0 reverse to Inter which still secured qualification.
Their blend of technical excellence and battling qualities in winning the ball back is just what is required for this game. They will have their hands full against the likes of De Bruyne and Gundogan. The third midfielder is likely to be the skipper.
Naby Keita was fantastic against Benfica and definitely staked a claim to be included, but it’s hard to see Henderson being left out of a game of this magnitude. Naby is probably going to get a cameo off the bench.
Upfront is where the big selection headache is. There are five top class options available in the form of Salah, Mané, Firmino, Jota and Diaz. Each brings a unique set of talents to the table, and the gaffer will have to get the right combination.
They will be up against a City defence that has only conceded 18 league goals this season. Even without the injured Ruben Dias, they’ve only conceded twice in their last six games. It will take a bit of magic to break through and you could make a case for each of those five attackers.
Mo Salah is off form but you wouldn’t drop him for the biggest match of the season. He can produce one moment of magic to change the whole game (just as he did in the reverse fixture). He’s a must start. You then look at Firmino and what he offers.
A relentless press and the ability to link play together and get his fellow forwards involved. That is a trait that will be needed at the Etihad. Jota brings a clinical edge as he’s a pure fox in the box. With Salah off form, if you wanted one chance to fall to a Liverpool player, you’d probably want Jota on the end of it.
He is absolutely lethal in the air as well, and in Dias’ absence, could cause one or two problems for Stones and Laporte. He’s in relatively healthy form as well, having scored or assisted in each of his last five starts for club and country.
Then you have Sadio Mané who is a big game player. He scored in the reverse fixture and has a decent record against the Citizens. He’s also been used as a central striker in recent weeks to great success. He’s netted 5 goals in his last 6 starts in that role.
Finally you have Luis Diaz, an electric option full of verve and direct running. He was dazzling on Tuesday night and was named Man of the Match. He also scored on his last trip to the Etihad with FC Porto. With Kyle Walker likely to line up at right back, it could be a fascinating battle.
It’s a tough one to call. If I were to hazard a guess I’d say Klopp is likely to go for the trio he utilised at Old Trafford in what is perhaps our best performance of the season. That had Mo on the right and Bobby down the middle dropping deep and linking everything together.
Diogo was then left to pick up the pieces in and around the box with a starting position on the left wing. It almost feels like Jürgen can’t go wrong with any trio he opts for. That’s the strength in depth currently available to him.
It’s a humongous game, with a win necessary if the Reds are to keep their title fate in their own hands.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Jota.
Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Konaté, Tsimikas, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Mané, Diaz.
3 thoughts on “MANCHESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL: PREDICTED LINEUP”
I think Jota and Salah already have their names on the starting eleven, it’s now left to Klopp to add the best piece that would complement the forward line.
I would love to see Diaz get the nod
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That would be exciting 🤩
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Yeah. This is going to be a hell of a ride, can’t wait!
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