MANCHESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool are back in action tomorrow when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad stadium (8pm GMT kickoff). The Carabao Cup fourth round draw threw out a huge tie, with the Reds’ trophy defence facing the toughest possible tie. Here’s the predicted lineup.
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Unlike rival clubs, Liverpool only had seven players representing their countries at the World Cup. Of the seven, Darwin Nunez was eliminated in the group stages, whilst Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Alisson and Fabinho were knocked out in the quarter finals.
Only Ibrahima Konaté made it all the way, with France finishing runners-up at the mundial. As a result, only two of the septuplet are unavailable for the trip tomorrow, with Van Dijk and Konaté yet to return to training.
The squad that remained behind enjoyed a welcome break before undergoing an intensive Dubai training camp in preparation for this game and the rest of the season. It is expected that those involved in that camp will dominate the starting lineup.
In goal will be Caomhin Kelleher. The Northern Irishman started both games in the Dubai Super Cup and is set to make another start in the League Cup competition. He was the hero in the third round against Derby, as his penalty saving ability came to the fore once again.
Ahead of him in the backline, James Milner is likely to be called into action at right back. Alexander-Arnold only returned to training earlier this week, whilst Calvin Ramsay was left out of the squad for the Milan friendly, probably due to injury.
Millie was phenomenal in that role when these two sides last met. He kept Foden under wraps when many feared he would be exposed. He is expected to be up against Cole Palmer this time round, and if the friendlies are anything to go by, the veteran will once again be up for it.
In the heart of defence it’s a straightforward selection, with Joel Matip certain to be paired alongside Joe Gomez. The duo will definitely have their hands full against a well rested Erling Haaland.
In midfield, the manager has the choice of trusting young Bajcetic or throwing Fabinho straight back into action. With the teenager starting both friendlies and acquitting himself well, Jürgen Klopp might lean towards the former option.
It would be the biggest game of his young career thus far, and it will be interesting to see how the youngster fares against elite opposition. He will have another youngster next to him in the shape of Harvey Elliott, with veteran Thiago Alcantara tasked with looking after the two teenagers in midfield.
Upfront, the manager’s options are limited. Diaz and Jota’s injuries mean he’s left with three senior players in attack. Salah, Firmino and Darwin Nunez will once again form a three pronged attack, just as they did in the weeks preceding the World Cup.
Fabio Carvalho and Ben Doak will offer youthful options off the bench. The former scored against Lyon whilst the latter took the breath away with a dazzling display off the bench against Milan. They will both be hoping to get minutes tomorrow night.
Kelleher, Milner, Matip, Gomez, Robertson, Bajcetic, Elliott, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Darwin.
Subs: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Tsimikas, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Clark, Carvalho, Doak.