Ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, former goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has spoken to Football FanCast about who he feels could start for Jurgen Klopp’s side against the Citizens.
After his hat-trick in midweek against Atalanta, Kirkland seems confident that Klopp will keep faith in Diogo Jota for the game against Pep Guardiola’s side.
Since joining from Wolves in the summer transfer window, the winger has been in superb form for the Reds, having scored seven goals in just 10 appearances for his new side, including six goals in his last four games (per WhoScored).
Following his signing from the Old Gold, Liverpool assistant manager Pep Ljinders described him as a “pressing monster” in training, which could prove effective against City on Sunday if he features.
Therefore, it is unsurprising that Kirkland feels Jota deserves to start in the game against City, perhaps in place of Roberto Firmino, who has had a much less impressive start to the 2020/21 season, having scored just once in all competitions so far this season.
In an exclusive interview, Chris Kirkland told Football FanCast:
“Well to leave somebody out that has scored the goals he has, obviously a hat-trick [on Tuesday]. I’d be amazed if he doesn’t start at the weekend. Whatever the decision Jurgen makes, the players will respect it. They won’t be happy about it but they will respect his decision and Jurgen has earned that, but yeah I’d be surprised if Jurgen does leave him out this weekend.”
Liverpool have struggled at the Etihad in recent seasons, having lost 4-0 there last season, albeit after they were already confirmed as league champions. They were also trounced 5-0 there in 2017, so they will no doubt have to be at their best if they want to take points off the 2018/19 champions on Sunday.
It will be interesting to see if Klopp keeps faith in Firmino for the game, or whether Jota does get the start on Sunday, as Kirkland clearly feels he deserves.