Liverpool host long-time Premier League rivals Manchester City at Anfield this afternoon, and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his team can translate their confidence and performance from their 7-1 over Rangers earlier this week into their clash against Pep Guardiola’s side.
Taking all three points against Man City could spark the resurgence of the Merseyside giants with the table still incredibly tight. A win will put Liverpool up to eighth following yesterday’s results and potentially take them to within three points off the top four, depending on how today’s matches materialise.
The Liverpool boss told the media: “We still have to figure out who is available after the Rangers game for the City game. We have to see, there are no final decisions yet. We have to see.”
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita are all unconfirmed as to whether they will be available for selection, but have all sustained injuries and were not part of the squad in the Champions League in midweek.
With that being said, this is Football Fancast expects Liverpool to line up against Manchester City today…
We predict there will be three changes to the team which beat Rangers in midweek, with the German coach continuing his formation change in a 4-4-2.
The first change we expect to see is Andy Robertson reprising his role at left-back after recovering from a knee injury over the last five weeks, replacing £65k-per-week gem Kostas Tsimikas and getting his first start since the defeat to Napoli in early September.
The 28-year-old has faced Manchester City 19 times, winning six, drawing five and losing eight of those meetings. He has one goal and four assists to his name against the Premier League champions, so it would be a no-brainer to start Robertson at left-back this afternoon.
The second change we predict is Thiago Alcantara starting alongside midfield partner Fabinho, replacing Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson in the team.
The Spanish midfielder started on the bench in the Champions League, only playing 23 minutes in a second-half appearance at Ibrox, so it would be no surprise if Klopp was resting Thiago on Wednesday ahead of the difficult challenge against Man City this weekend.
The third and final change we expect is Mohamed Salah joining Roberto Firmino in the more central role that he adopted against Rangers, which led to the Egyptian winger scoring the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history on Wednesday night.
Liverpool’s goal machine could replace Darwin Nunez in the starting XI as we predict that Klopp will lean on his more experienced players to open up the game against Guardiola’s side. However, it would be no surprise if the manager does give the 23-year-old some minutes as an impact substitute later in the game, especially if the Reds are in need of a goal or two.