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James Milner must start for Liverpool against Manchester City

Following a breathtaking 3-3 draw at Brentford in their previous Premier League fixture and a convincing 5-1 win against FC Porto in the Champions League, Liverpool are set to welcome Manchester City to Anfield on Sunday.

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Alberto Moreno celebrates

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The clash is set up to be an intriguing one with the Reds, who have scored 15 goals in six league matches, facing a City side who have conceded just one goal in six top-flight games.

Milner could make the difference

One Liverpool player who will be missing from the match is right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold after Reds manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed that he is out with an injury after missing the midweek win at Porto.

Following this news, the manager revealed that the options he has to compensate for the 22-year-old’s absence are to either play James Milner, Neco Williams or Joe Gomez there, or even change the system altogether.

In our view, it should be the 35-year-old, who was described as “remarkable” by Match of the Day host Gary Lineker last month, who gets the nod over Williams or Gomez to start in the right-back position, even though Klopp revealed that the veteran apparently doesn’t like playing there.

Liverpool signed Milner, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £140k-per-week according to Spotrac, back in 2015 from Sunday’s opponents on a free transfer.

Since then, the 35-year-old – who is currently valued at £2.7m according to Transfermarkt – has made 254 appearances for the Merseysiders, more than for any other club he’s represented, with 26 goals and 45 assists along the way.

Throughout his career, Milner has played in just about every outfield position possible, providing five assists in the 15 games he has played as a right-back. While he may not like the roles and may have more experience playing in other positions, he has shown he is capable of being very effective from there.

Would you start Milner at right-back against Man City?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Looking at the Porto game, the 35-year-old won three ground duels and three aerial duels, made two key passes and ultimately earned himself a solid overall match rating of 7.1/10 according to SofaScore. That shows just how capable he is of playing as a right-back who can balance attacking and defensive duties.

In our view, that should make him the favourite to fill in for Alexander-Arnold when City come to Anfield tomorrow. His experience and ability to operate at right-back could make a crucial difference against the champions’ prolific attack.

In other news: Klopp could finally replace Coutinho for Liverpool with “talented” £40.5m-rated beast – opinion

Article title: James Milner must start for Liverpool against Manchester City

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