£28.8m-rated giant returns, Firmino benched: Predicted Liverpool XI vs Man City – opinion

Liverpool travel to the Etihad on Sunday afternoon hoping to re-establish themselves at the top of the Premier League table with a win against Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp certainly has some big decisions to make with regards to his starting team.

Arguably the trickiest decision the German manager will have to make is whether or not to start Portuguese winger Diogo Jota after his electric start to life at Anfield, or whether Roberto Firmino will get the nod.

Jota continued his fine form since joining the Reds from Wolves this summer by scoring a superb hat-trick in the midweek thrashing of Atalanta, taking his Liverpool tally to seven in just 10 games (per WhoScored). 

Firmino meanwhile, has been a staple of Liverpool’s front three over the past few years and Klopp argued recently that the Brazilian has been a big part of the Merseyside club’s success in recent years, so his influence cannot be underestimated.

However, the former Hoffenheim man has just one goal in all competitions so far this season, so if Klopp were to base his starting XI on form alone, surely Jota should start ahead of him in the attack?

Here’s how Football FanCast thinks Klopp will line his side up at the Etihad…

lineup 1 - £28.8m-rated giant returns, Firmino benched: Predicted Liverpool XI vs Man City - opinion

The one other change we feel the former Borussia Dortmund boss should make is selecting Joel Matip to start alongside Joe Gomez at centre-back.

The Cameroon international is back in training after recovering from a recent injury problem and will add a lot of experience and height to Liverpool’s backline.

Although Nathaniel Phillips was an excellent deputy in Liverpool’s win against West Ham last week, with Jamie Carragher awarding the 23-year-old the man-of-the-match award, Manchester City are a very different proposition to West Ham, and we feel that the £28.8 million-rated defender is the more likely option in this game.

Other than bringing in Matip, there are unlikely to be too many changes from Klopp, with regulars Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gomez all starting in defence.

Gini Wijnaldum’s energy could be vital in midfield, so we feel that he will get the start but unfortunately, this game may come too soon for summer signing Thiago, as he only returned to training recently.

Captain Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita should start alongside the Dutch international in midfield, with the Guinea international replacing the inexperienced Curtis Jones, whilst unsurprisingly, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will most likely start alongside Jota in the Reds’ front three.

It will be interesting to see how Klopp sets his team up for an important game at the Etihad.

The post Firmino benched; Matip returns from injury: Predicted Liverpool XI to face Man City first appeared on FootballFanCast.com.

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