Luis Diaz starts, and no Diogo Jota despite Mohamed Salah’s poor form – Liverpool’s attack for Premier League title showdown with Man City
Jurgen Klopp is certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to picking his starting XI, particularly when it comes to his front-three.
When it comes to attacking options, the Reds boast Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, all of whom are more than capable of putting City’s defence under pressure.
And that’s not even considering Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi, and Harvey Elliott.
But whilst it’ll be tough for Klopp to choose, former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann offered up the front-line he would select at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
“Well Firmino won’t play,” he told talkSPORT Breakfast, “When he came on he looked off-colour, I didn’t like the way he played yesterday. I’d probably play… Ah, it’s a tough one.
“After yesterday’s performance Diaz probably has to play. I’d probably play with the guys who played [against Benfica], probably start with [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah on the wing, or Diaz on the wing and Mane and Salah both playing up top.
“But then again [Diogo] Jota, he’s always a player who can be relied upon, but I’d probably start with the three that started yesterday.”
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Elsewhere on the pitch, Liverpool’s players emerged from their Champions League quarter-finals first legs unscathed, bar a cut to the head for Fabinho which required a bandage.
The Reds also opted to rest key players, including midfielder and captain Jordan Henderson – who came on as a second half substitute – and centre-back Joel Matip.
Now or never springs to mind when it comes to this fixture, and the Liverpool boss will want to go as strong as possible with his starting XI.
In goal, the obvious choice for Liverpool will be Alisson and after keeping 17 clean sheets this Premier League campaign, the Brazilian will be trusted to keep City’s attacking threat at bay.
Forming the backline, despite Ibrahima Konate getting on the scoresheet away at Benfica, centre-back Matip is likely to slot back in considering he’s been Klopp’s go-to centre-back in the league on 24 occasions this season.
It’s also likely captain Henderson will re-join the starting XI to offer leadership throughout the title-chasing clash, meaning Naby Keita will be rested after having a run out of 89 minutes in Lisbon.
Although Jota has offered a huge lift to Liverpool’s attack this season, as pointed out by Hamann, Diaz’s electric return to Portugal on Tuesday night warrants a start on Sunday – making Klopp’s front-three unchanged from midweek.
But can Hamann’s front-line do the business in the title showdown? We’ll find out on Sunday.
How Liverpool could look against Man City…
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