MANCHESTER CITY VS LIVERPOOL: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool travel to the Etihad Stadium tomorrow (11:30 GMT kickoff) to take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The Reds sit 7 points off the top four whilst the hosts are 8 points off top spot. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.
The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed the return to fitness of Darwin Nunez and Joe Gomez. Luis Diaz meanwhile has been ruled out despite returning to training this week following a five month layoff. Understandably, the club is being patient with the Colombian.
It seems everyone else returned from the international break healthy (bar Naby Keita who picked up his 346th muscle injury since signing for the club). He joins Thiago Alcantara, Calvin Ramsay and Stefan Bajcetic on the sidelines.
We should see the strongest available XI take the pitch, starting with Alisson in goal. The Brazilian was curiously left out of Brazil’s squad over the break and has enjoyed a fortnight off with the family. He will be a busy man tomorrow so that rest was much welcome.
In defence, we can expect to see Konaté and Van Dijk continue their partnership at centre back. Both men featured in the two games for their respective nations over the break. Ibou kept two clean sheets and looked accomplished alongside former partner Dayot Upamecano.
The 23 year old is coming into his own and it is lovely to watch. Van Dijk meanwhile suffered a heavy defeat against Ibou and his fellow Frenchmen before keeping a clean sheet in a one sided victory over Gibraltar. They will both have to be at their best to keep the league’s topscorers quiet.
At full back, Alexander-Arnold will be hoping to showcase a better version of himself than we’ve seen recently. The Scouser used the time off to put in the hard yards at the AXA Training Centre. He will likely be up against Jack Grealish tomorrow in what should be an interesting battle.
On the other flank, Robertson was in great form for Scotland over the break. Two assists and two clean sheets in victories over Cyprus and Spain was truly impressive. He will line up at left back and look to get one over Rodri again.
In midfield, we should see Fabinho and Henderson both handed starts. With Thiago, Bajcetic and Keita out injured, Harvey Elliott is the best bet to complete the midfield trio. Milner and Jones are the only other options beyond the teenager. We could finally see Arthur in league action but that’s a really long shot.
In attack, Darwin will in all likelihood line up on the left wing. The Uruguayan international has recovered from a gash to his ankle in time to square up against City. He of course netted on his debut against the Citizens but has misfired in the last two games against the champions.
Salah returned from the international break with a couple more records in his bag and no doubt bouyed by the change in scenery. He will line up on the right wing as usual and seek to net against Guardiola’s men for the fourth time this season, breaking another record in the process.
The likes of Jota and Firmino could prove useful options off the bench in the second half, whilst the nous of James Milner could be required depending on how the game goes. It’s a tough task tomorrow, but what else is there to lose this season?
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Henderson, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.
Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Jones, Arthur, Jota, Firmino.
Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Grealish, Alvarez.
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A good article
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