The climax of the Liverpool Premier League triumph will come when the side receives a guard of honour from the defending champions, Manchester City, against whom they lost their title a year back by a whisker. Now it would be an absolute anticlimax if the Kops lose their first match after being officially crowned the champions, and that too against Manchester City.
With that in mind, we expect Jurgen Klopp to field a strong side against the Mancunians at the Etihad when the Reds visit Pep Guardiola’s men this Thursday. While many would want the manager to field the youngsters more often now that the league has been secured, so that they get a chance to lay their hands on the coveted medal, the German might feel that this is not the right game to do the same.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup Versus Manchester City
There can be no questions raised regarding the inclusion of Alisson Becker in the goal. The Brazilian had to do nothing against Palace in their last encounter, but the next game might be different. The duo of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez should be manning the centre-back positions with Joel Matip still recovering from an injury. Lovren, whose future hangs in the balance at the club, would be available on the bench for selection.
Trent Alexander-Arnold should be selected at the right-back slot and Andrew Robertson at left-back. Both these wing-backs would be willing to give Liverpool the width that the team so often uses. Milner, who is recovering from an injury that he had suffered against Everton, would be out of action, meaning that there is practically no alternative to the left-back position.
Last time the two teams met in the Premier League, Fabinho scored a stunner against City and the Brazilian repeated the same feat in the previous match against Crystal Palace. This should guarantee the midfielder a place in the side with him looking to come to the field with his shooting boots on. Georginio Wijnaldum and Henderson should be other two men at the centre of the pitch with Klopp looking to get the solidity at the middle of the park. Chamberlain and Keita should be on the bench, ready to jump in if required.
The usual trio of Mane, Firmino and Salah would be placed at the frontline with all the three players getting adequate rest. We do not believe that Klopp would take any chances for this match and thus players like Minamino and Origi should only come on once the fate of the game has been sealed. Firmino, who has not scored in a while, needs to get his name on the scoresheet if the Brazilian is to end the season on a high.