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Liverpool starting lineup to face Manchester City – predicted



Liverpool starting lineup to face Manchester City – predicted

Here we are then. It doesn’t get much bigger than this. First-placed Liverpool take on second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday.

A single point separates the two sides going into this one and the only thing for certain is that at least one team will drop points here in the title race.

As we hit the business end of the campaign (and Jurgen Klopp’s final few weeks as manager) it goes without saying that every game is crucial. And it’s important to take each one at a time and not to look too far ahead.

But, having said that and all the other standard cliches… Some matches are just bigger than others and it’s hard to understate the significance a win on Sunday could have for Jurgen Klopp’s side here ahead of the final ten games of the 2023/24 league season.

Amid the injury crisis and need to compete on multiple fronts, three points here against their biggest rivals would be a mega boost for the Reds.

Here’s how Klopp could line up his side for the visit of the champions.

A few weeks ago the prospect of going into a potential title showdown against Manchester City without Alisson Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold would’ve been unthinkable.

However, while it would unquestionably be better if the duo were fit, the recent performances of Caoimhin Kelleher and Conor Bradley mean their absences are no longer cause to hide behind the sofa.

The duo have been superb for Liverpool in 2024, playing major roles in the Reds’ run of six straight wins and three straight clean sheets.

Bradley’s ascension has been so surprisingly rapid that accommodating both him and the Reds vice-captain in the same lineup will be a future challenge for the Liverpool manager.

Alongside the two Irish stars will be the more senior presences of captain Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate — barring any late injury issues — with the pair tasked with keeping out Erling Haaland. If anyone can…

Andy Robertson will likely be the starting left back, despite impressive recent showings from both Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas.

Wataru Endo came off the bench to make a significant, if subtle, contribution to Liverpool’s last-gasp win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday. After recovering fully from the knock he received in the Carabao Cup final, he should start at the base of midfield, with his industry never more needed than against the City machine.

If Endo starts, Alexis Mac Allister — another hero from the trip to Nottingham — is likely to be pushed into a more advanced role.

Dominik Szoboszlai, who finally made his comeback, could be in line for a first start since his injury, assuming he is not risked from the beginning in the Europa League on Thursday.

Harvey Elliott may feel unlucky to miss out on a place in the XI, while the impressive young Bobby Clark is also an option from the bench after earning his first Premier League start last weekend.

Meanwhile, amid the injury layoffs, Ryan Gravenberch may be in line to return to the matchday squad in what would be a boost to Klopp’s options.

Will he? Won’t he?

The big question hanging over the visit of City is the fitness of Mohamed Salah.

All the signs and recent hints from the manager have suggested that Salah is in line to return for this one and you’d bet good money the Egyptian is doing absolutely everything in his power to be involved.

Assuming he does start for the first time for Liverpool since New Year’s Day, it’s two from three for the other positions.

Cody Gakpo has played a lot of football recently without really excelling, while Darwin Nunez’s match-winning cameo showed why he is Klopp’s first-choice No. 9.

Luis Diaz should continue on the left. Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas may be wild cards on the bench for Klopp.


(4-3-3): Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Szoboszlai, Endo, Mac Allister; Salah, Nunez, Diaz


Man City suffer fresh injury blow ahead of Copenhagen & Liverpool games

Jermey Doku is an injury doubt ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Copenhagen after the Manchester City attacker missed open Tuesday’s training session.

The Belgian is suffering with a mild discomfort which may force him to sit out the midweek second-leg, as City go in search of another quarter-final qualification. But even more concerning is Doku’s availability for this weekend’s crucial Premier League encounter at Anfield.

The champions head to Merseyside a point behind leaders Liverpool, with Arsenal facing Brentford the day before.

Doku started in Sunday’s Manchester derby win but was replaced in the second half by Julian Alvarez. The winger’s knock is compounded by Jack Grealish’s injury, with Pep Guardiola revealing in Tuesday’s press conference that he is still unsure how long the former Aston Villa captain will be out for, although he’s not expected to feature again this month due to a groin problem.

Grealish and Doku were the only senior players missing from the opening training session ahead of the Copenhagen game, with Josko Gvardiol, who has recently returned from injury, among the 23 players involved. Mahamadou Susoho and Jacob Wright were also part of the group and could be named among the substitutes at the Etihad on Wednesday.

With Grealish out and Doku’s participation in doubt, it’s unclear who will start in the wide areas for City. Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden are the obvious answers – which could mean a change in midfield – while Oscar Bobb offers another option.

City lead 3-1 from the first leg in Denmark last month and are heavy favourites to progress to the last eight for a seventh consecutive season.

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