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Full strength for the champions: Predicted line-up for Manchester City vs Liverpool

Liverpool await their first Premier League match since being crowned champions of England as the team prepare to face-off against title rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday evening – here is the predicted XI for Jurgen Klopp’s champions.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JUNE 25: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUDNAY OUT) Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson of Liverpool celebrating winning the Premier League on June 25, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Alisson Becker

Was merely a passenger during Liverpool’s emphatic 4-0 victory against Crystal Palace as Roy Hodgson’s side failed to complete any touches in the opposition box. The Brazilian will be much busier against the Citizens.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

The scouser in our team made history to help his beloved boyhood club end 30 years of elusive pain on Merseyside. Alexander-Arnold will certainly be relishing the prospect of a guard of honour from the team who beat them to the title by a solitary point last season.

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Joe Gomez

Following the injury setback to Joel Matip, Gomez will likely feature more prominently with Klopp down to just two central defensive options. Has been outstanding all season.

Virgil van Dijk

The catalyst and the driving force behind Liverpool’s leap from ‘doubters’ to ‘believers’. The Dutchman hasn’t missed a PL match all season and is certain to feature against the team that so desperately wanted to sign him before the Reds got their man.

Andy Robertson

The difference in performance levels between the two fixtures against Palace and Everton was astronomical. Robertson was a huge factor in the Anfield romping after the Scotland captain returned to full fitness and he will be raring to go come Thursday.

 

Fabinho

Was utterly breathtaking against Palace seven days ago as the Brazilian midfielder looks to have returned to the devestating form he was producing on a weekly basis before his injury setback in November – a must start.

Jordan Henderson 

Liverpool’s first league-winning captain since Alan Hansen has epitomised the team’s simply ridiculous levels of consistency all season and the skipper will be desperate to remind City why his Reds team are more than worthy champions.

Georginio Wijnaldum 

Gini’s presence and technical prowess in midfield will be vital against Guardiola’s team, who are arguably the best team in the country at retaining possession.

Sadio Mane

Liverpool’s most consistent forward this season, Klopp will be desperate to keep his preferred front three for the City clash following their five-star display against Palace which was typified by Mane’s goal as all three front-men linked up to allow the Senegalese ace to fire his 15th PL goal of the season.

Roberto Firmino

The man who just loves an away day. Firmino is Liverpool’s most prolific scorer on the road with eight league goals to his name away from Anfield – is yet to score since the break.

Mohamed Salah

The Egyptian’s importance to team was stark following his return to action against Palace. Salah scored one of the goals of the season against City back in November and he will be eager to add another outstanding goal return as Salah now looks to retain his Premier League Golden Boot for a third successive season.

Liverpool fan Paul Davies poses with a cut out of a trophy outside Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on June 26, 2020 after Liverpool FC sealed the Premier League title the previous evening. – Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions without kicking a ball on Thursday as Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City ended the Reds’ 30-year wait to win the English title. Jurgen Klopp’s men sealed a 19th league title for the club with a record seven games left to play after City’s defeat left them 23 points adrift of Liverpool at the top. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Our take 

The title may be won, but there is more riding on this game than anticipated. City will be hurting and both teams will already have one eye on next season which provides both teams with the opportunity to lay a glove and showcase why they should be seen as favourites next time around.

Despite wrapping up the title following City’s defeat at Stamford Bridge last week, this fixture has a lot riding on it as Liverpool look to beat the Citizens home and away in the league for the first time since 2016.

The tendency to experiment with players and formation can arguably wait until this blockbuster encounter is played. Liverpool may be a whopping 23 points ahead of City but Guardiola’s star-studded team are certainly capable of beating anyone on their day.

With the title already won, it gives both teams the opportunity to solely focus on the football which could mean we are in for a technical masterclass from two of the continent’s most elite heavyweights.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Jurgen Klopp manager / head coach of Liverpool gestures during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool FC at Etihad Stadium on January 3, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Predicted line-up vs Manchester City 

Alisson
Alexander-Arnold – Gomez – Van Dijk – Robertson
Fabinho
Henderson – Wijnaldum
Mane – Firmino – Salah

 

 

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