Manchester City vs. Liverpool: How the teams could Line-up
Manchester City will be forced to welcome new EPL Champions Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night, with a guard of honour planned for Jürgen Klopp’s side.
Manchester City surrendered the title they’ve held since 2 seasons back after losing to a Willian inspired Chelsea side, leaving Liverpool with an unassailable lead (23 points) with seven games of the campaign remaining.
The first of those games just so happens to be against the team they have dethroned and Manchester City will be hoping to prove a point against the runaway (Liverpool) English Champions.
Here Extra Time Talk looks at how the former English Champions Manchester City could line-up at the Etihad Stadium.
Out: Fernandes (suspended), Sergio Aguero (knee)
Doubtful: Eric Garcia (head)
Pep Guardiola has hinted that he will focus on the cup competitions for the remainder of the season and rightly so with a potential treble still up for grabs. However, he certainly will not want to roll over against the team that has just usurped his side’s title as kings of England.
City named a strong side for last weekend’s FA Cup victory over the Magpies, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte, and Raheem Sterling all starting the match.
Guardiola’s tendency to make changes to the side makes every player that started against Newcastle United a candidate to sit out on Thursday, but those three are arguably City’s most importantly available at the moment and will be expected to start against the visitors Liverpool.
Gabriel Jesus will hope to lead the attack in the absence of the injured Sergio Aguero, although Guardiola played Bernardo Silva as a false nine against Chelsea and could opt for a similar game plan in this match.
Fernandinho is still suspended following his red card from that ill-fated Chelsea game, leaving Guardiola with a choice to take between Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Eric Garcia, and Taylor Harwood-Bellis at centre-back alongside Aymeric Laporte.
The English defender Stones has not played since lockdown and has not been trusted at the best of times either.
Garcia remains a doubt following his heavy collision with Ederson in the right game back, meaning that Otamendi is favourite to start at the back.
The only alternation to that defensive unit from the FA Cup match could be Ederson in goal, but there may be changes further forward with Rodri and Phil Foden among the starters.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool: How Manchester City could line-up against Liverpool in a 4-3-3 designated formation dynamics.
Ederson; Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte; Benjamin Mendy; Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden; Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling.
Liverpool’s first match as English Champions after 10,650 days comes at the expense of the team they have just dethroned on Thursday as they face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Defeat for City in the hands of Chelsea last week confirmed the title for Liverpool in record time, keeping them an unassailable 23 points clear of their closest challenges with seven games of the season remaining.
The Reds, who last lifted the EPL trophy 30 years back, will now have their sights set on breaking Manchester City’s own record for most points, most wins, and biggest title-winning margin in the Premier League history.
Jürgen Klopp’s side could take a giant stride towards that at the Etihad. Here extra time talk-come looks at how they line-up for the top-two showdown.
Out; Joel Matip (toe)
Doubtful; Xherdan Shaqiri (calf) James Milner (hamstring).
The Reds would not be able to make do of Joel Matip’s services again this season after the toe injury he sustained in the Merseyside derby proved to be more harmful than good.
However, it may not affect the plans so much for Klopp as the Liverpool side have already won the League.
Indeed, the new Champions should name an unchanged line-up more like the one that thumped Crystal Palace last week.
James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri are the Reds only injury concerns. Those eleven named against Crystal Palace could be regarded as Liverpool’s strongest team.
With a week and a day between matches and no other competition left to fight for this season, there is no course for worry in terms of making changes to the side.
All of the regular members of the first team squad have already made enough appearances to earn Premier League medals, and the youngsters currently short of the five-game threshold-the likes of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot, and Neco Williams-will benefit from the five-sub rule.
There are still personal ambitions for key players to achieve- the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are both still in the Golden Boot race.
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold needs just one more as assist to break his own single-season record for a defender and Virgil Van Dijk is on course to become only the fifth outfield player to feature in every minute of a Premier League title campaign.
Roberto Firmino will be looking to maintain his sterling away record this campaign, which includes six goals in seven away games against the opposition in the top half of the Premier League.
Manchester City vs. Liverpool. How Liverpool could line-up against Manchester City in a 4-3-3 formation Dynamics.
Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil Van Dijk, Joseph Gomez, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.