Liverpool host Manchester City for a 4:30pm BST kickoff tomorrow. We’ve previewed the game here. In this article, we take a look at how we expect Jürgen Klopp to line his side up for this tasty encounter.

The manager has a few fitness worries in defence whilst he grapples with a decision on which system to deploy. With Alexander-Arnold, Matip and Ramsay all guaranteed to miss out through injury, it is worrying that Konaté is also struggling with a muscle issue.

The Frenchman made his first start of the season in the 7-1 victory over Rangers after recovering from a knee injury that ruled him out for over two months. He was the best defender on the night, lasting 79 minutes in an accomplished showing before being taken off.

As for the system, Jürgen has utilised a 4-4-2 setup in the last three games, opting for four attackers from the start. The question now remains whether he feels a system that employs only two central midfielders is advisable against the best team in the world at keeping possession.

He did use that setup in a trip to the Etihad back in the 2020/21 season, with all four of Mané, Firmino, Jota and Salah starting and finishing the game (bar Firmino who went off for Shaqiri after an hour). So he has used this system against this team before. It’ll be interesting to see what he decides.

I reckon the back five will consist of Alisson, Gomez, Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson, fitness permitting of course. Tsimikas has worked hard in Robbo’s absence but his form has taken a nosedive in recent weeks.

Robbo got almost 25 minutes under his belt on Wednesday night and looked sharp. He should be raring to go. City’s forward line has been in scary form this season, with Erling Haaland scoring for fun. Foden is in the form of his life infront of goal as well so it will be a tough task for the defence.

Should Ibou fail his late fitness test, it would be a real worry. In that case, we could see Gomez slotting in at centre back and Milner at right back, or Nat Phillips alongside Van Dijk and Gomez at right back, yikes. Millie was given the runaround by Foden in this fixture last season!

In midfield I just can’t see the manager not switching back to a three, especially with Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago all fit. That trio started and impressed in the Community Shield victory. They will have to perform way better than their last outing together though (3-3 vs Brighton).

The final puzzle to solve is the attack. Darwin Nunez has looked really good playing in a two, scoring in successive games. Will a reversion to 4-3-3 suit him as a lone man through the middle? Or is the in-form Bobby Firmino the better option?

We have seen what sort of impact the Uruguayan can have off the bench against these. Jota and Salah meanwhile are shoo-ins for the two wide positions. The former set up all three of Salah’s goals in midweek as they proved too hot to handle for the Gers defence. There is something to be said for Mo playing more centrally.

He’s been on the periphery for much of this season as he adapts his game around Darwin and the recent formation change. The manager could always turn to the 4-4-2 second half if he needs to chase the game, with Elliott capable of filling in on the right wing to allow Mo play central.

However Klopp approaches it, it will be a tough test. It always is against City. Hopefully the Reds manage to take the lead for a change. That’ll give the crowd and the team something to build on and the required belief to fight on.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Gomez, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Jota.

Subs: Kelleher, Phillips, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carvalho, Darwin.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s