Liverpool take on Manchester City at the King Power Stadium tomorrow in the FA Community Shield. The traditional curtain raiser presents a chance for the Reds to put a marker down against the champions. Here’s the predicted lineup.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

There are a couple of injury enforced absences for Jürgen Klopp’s side, with up to six players expected to miss out. Goalkeepers Alisson Becker and Caomhin Kelleher, as well as full backs Calvin Ramsey and Kostas Tsimikas are all out.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diogo Jota both miss out as well with muscle and hamstring injuries respectively. This limits the manager’s options somewhat, but coming off the back of an intense training camp in Austria, there is still a strong side to choose from.

In goal will be third choice ‘keeper Adrian. The Spaniard has played the most minutes in pre-season and has looked solid between the sticks in the friendlies. He made only one competitive appearance last season, keeping a clean sheet away at Preston North End in the League Cup.

It’s a huge game for the 35 year old, and the hope is that he can reprise his UEFA Super Cup heroics. In defence, three of the four slots are straightforward picks for the manager. Trent will line up at right back, with Robertson over on the left.

Van Dijk will of course start in the heart of defence. The only slight dilemma in the backline is who partners the big man. In the four friendlies so far this summer, Konaté has partnered Virgil twice, with Matip partnering him once.

Whether that’s any indication as to where the manager might be leaning towards remains to be seen. Ibou started the Champions League final and was quite possibly the best player in a red shirt on the night.

The pace of Vinicius Junior down that flank certainly played a part in that selection. Even with City likely to utilise Jack Grealish on the left wing, there’s still the worry of pace in behind with the rapid Erling Haaland expected to lead the line.

Ibou was monstrous as well in the Cup semi final defeat of City at Wembley, he probably edges ahead of Matip. It’s a close call between the two, with neither option being a wrong one. The depth at centre back is ridiculously strong with Gomez also in the mix.

In midfield you’d expect two of the three positions to be nailed on. Thiago bossed proceedings against these last time out and will be needed again here. Fabinho will be expected to hold down the forte in the defensive midfield position.

The right sided midfield spot is where the second quandary is. It’s a toss up between the skipper Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita, with Harvey Elliott an outside shout. Hendo’s energy? Naby’s press resistance? Or Harvey’s youthful exuberance?

We feel the skipper will edge it here, with his partnership and understanding with Trent and Salah possibly proving fruitful on the day. The skipper will definitely bring the intensity required for the press, as well as the energy to track runners in behind.

There’s a final selection headache upfront. Diaz and Salah are guaranteed starters out wide, but who leads the line? Roberto Firmino or record summer signing Darwin Nunez? A case could be made for both players.

Bobby offers connectivity, familiarity and creativity in the way he drops deep to link play. Darwin meanwhile brings extra pace and off the shoulder runs into the box, in the typical striker fashion.

It will depend on which set of characteristics the manager feels is required from the off against this City side. He talked up Bobby’s importance in the pre-match presser which leads us to think the Brazilian will get the nod.

Darwin will likely get a cameo in the second half if that happens (as we just can’t see a 4-2-3-1 with both players starting). Klopp is not shy to ease new signings in and this might be the case with the Uruguayan.

It’s a strong XI, with some exciting options off the bench. With this fixture falling into the pre-season calendar, we can expect a lot of changes to be made within the game.

Predicted team:

Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Diaz.

Subs: Davies, Gomez, Matip, Milner, Keita, Elliott, Jones, Darwin, Carvalho.



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