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Liverpool vs Manchester City (a): Predicted XI

Liverpool begin 2019 with an away game to the reigning champions, Manchester City, in what many describe as a potential title-decider.

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The Reds come into the game sitting seven points clear at the top of the table and yet to be defeated in the Premier League. The Cityzens, meanwhile, come into 2019 looking shakier than usual at the back, failing to keep a clean sheet in their last seven games.

The last meeting between Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola was a cautious 0-0 stand-off at Anfield, but with so much at stake this time around, it’s fair to expect changes in both personnel and approach from the two sides.

Predicted XI

Liverpool

Liverpool’s front three and back five pick themselves, but the midfield is where things get tricky.

Georginio Wijnaldum hasn’t missed a big game this season, but will Jürgen Klopp rest an in-form Fabinho? Will he go to his cautious-but-experienced big-game trio of Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and James Milner?

That midfield three was much-maligned in the Reds’ Champions League losses away to Napoli and PSG, but found redemption in a must-win return fixture against Napoli on match day six.

liverpool city xi

Manchester City, on the other hand, have their own set of problems heading into the fixture.

The biggest comes at left-back, as Benjamin Mendy is out injured while Fabian Delph is suspended after his red card at the King Power stadium.

Guardiola would be wise to opt for experience and start Danilo over makeshift option Oleksandr Zinchenko.

John Stones is likely to return to the heart of defence alongside Kyle Walker at right-back. City are sweating on the fitness of Kevin De Bruyne, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him to make the bench.

The midfield likely picks itself, with a fit-again Fernandinho anchoring the three alongside David Silva and Bernardo Silva.

In attack, Guardiola’s decision to rest Leroy Sané against Southampton points to a likely starting birth. Barring injury or illness, Raheem Sterling is a must-start on the right, with Sergio Agüero remaining first-choice in the middle.

city liverpool xi

 

Chijioke Ochubili
Civil Engineer in the making, Nigerian Kopite, Animal lover and mini football freak

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