Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool managed to get rid of their demons in the Premier League as they finally managed to beat a side that were ready to sit back and defend in Burnley last weekend. But they are back in their comfort zone as they will travel to the Etihad to face a Manchester City side that are currently in the 3rd place, just a point above Liverpool in the points table.
City are fresh from being knocked out of the Champions League and a loss in this game can dent their chance of qualification into the competition next season. But playing at home, Pep Guardiola’s side are expected to give the Reds a run for their money as Jurgen Klopp will not accept anything less than three points from this tie. It is easily the most interesting game in the league this weekend and here are the predicted lineups for both sides:
English duo Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge are ruled out of this game and the England qualifiers later this month. They will remain the only two absentees for this tie as defender Dejan Lovren is back in training and is expected to start this game. Brazil attacker Roberto Firmino also missed the previous game but he is back fit and should find his place in the starting XI.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
The Belgian shot-stopper has been in decent form recently and Klopp will hope that he can have an easy game on the night at the Etihad.
The English defender is one of the most consistent players in his position in the league and Klopp should stick with him at right-back for this tie.
The senior defender in the squad at the moment, Matip will be responsible for marshalling Liverpool’s back line in this game.
Though missed the last couple of games, Lovren is back to full-fitness giving Klopp a chance to go back to his first choice center back pairing for this clash.
The versatile midfielder has been exceptional in a full-back position this season and there is no reason for Klopp to tinker with the backline for this weekend.
The scorer of the winning goal in the victory over Burnley, Can will be high on confidence and will have to play a major role if Liverpool are to come out of this game with a win.
The other goal scorer in the previous game, Wijnaldum has not been productive in games away from home but this is as good as a game as any for him to stop the jinx.
One of the most important players for Liverpool this season, Lallana needs to be at his best to allow Liverpool add some fluidity to their play on their trip to Manchester.
The Senegalese winger will be the danger man for Manchester City on the night and he will be up against the likes of Kolarov in this game at the weekend.
Declared fit just a day before the game, the Brazilian missed the last game and will be raring to get back into action with an effective performance against Manchester City.
The Brazilian playmaker has not been at his best since returning from injury but he can have a lasting effect on this game in the final third.
This is how they would lineup:
Ilkay Gundogan and Gabriel Jesus remain the only absentees for this tie for Pep Guardiola who can go with a strong lineup in this tie.
Expected lineup (4-1-4-1):
Willy Caballero; Bacary Sagna, Nicolas Otamendi, Aleksandar Kolarov; Gael Clichy; Fernandinho; Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Leroy Sane; Sergio Aguero
Here is how they would line up: