Date:7th April 2022 at 1:00pm
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All eyes will be on Manchester on Sunday, as the Premier League’s top two go head-to-head in a clash that will surely go a long way towards deciding who is crowned champions. 

Manchester City host Liverpool in what is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season so far, with the winner taking a commanding lead into the final weeks of the season.

Both sides will be wary of losing, but with City leading the Reds by a single point, it is arguably Liverpool for whom victory is more urgent.

Below, we predict the XI that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will opt for.

Goalkeeper

Brazilian Alisson will start between the sticks, tasked with keeping City’s prolific attack at bay. The ‘keeper has started all but two of Liverpool’s league matches so far this term, and will keep Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian on the bench once more.

Alisson will face the challenge of keeping the likes of De Bruyne and Sterling out

Defenders

At the back, Trent Alexander-Arnold will once again start at right-back, having made his return from injury in the Champions League win over Benfica. Joe Gomez impressed when deputising for his compatriot, but will likely return to the bench for the first time in three league games.

In central defence, Klopp will most likely revert to his favoured pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip. Ibrahima Konate started the European win in Portugal and grabbed the opening goal, but Matip has been used in the league whenever available since the new year, and will expect to partner Van Dijk.

At left-back, Andy Robertson will make his sixth consecutive league start, ahead of deputy Kostas Tsimikas.

Midfielders

Klopp’s choice of midfield trio could be crucial in such a finely-balanced clash. The ever-reliable Fabinho seems certain to start, most likely joined by captain Jordan Henderson and Thiago. When available, the trio have started the majority of the Reds’ biggest games so far this term, and appear to be Klopp’s first choice.

Thiago will likely start as one of Liverpool’s midfield three

James Milner could be a reliable option from the bench against his old club, if Liverpool have a lead to defend. Naby Keita, meanwhile, who started the win over Benfica, will also have to settle for a place among the substitutes.

Forwards

Few managers in world football are as spoilt for choice as Klopp when it comes to goal scorers. Between them, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota have 34 league goals so far, and the pair will likely start agains City. Salah will have little trouble in cruising to this season’s golden boot award, with his tally of 20 putting him six clear of Jota, who himself is second on the list.

Joining the pair up front will most likely be Sadio Mane, who scored his first goal in a month during the win in Portugal on Tuesday. The Senegalese international will pip Luis Diaz to the final starting spot in the Reds’ front line, although the Colombian could be a useful option from the bench.

Mane will be hoping to add to his goal in midweek

Whichever line up Klopp opts for, the game at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon promises to be a thrilling encounter. With both sides chasing the Premier League title, and a rematch in the FA Cup semi finals later this month, excitement and drama are both guaranteed.

 
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