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How Manchester City could line up against Liverpool

sportsmole.co.uk, 30 June 2020, 18:39
How Manchester City could line up against Liverpool

Manchester City will be forced to welcome newly-crowned Premier League champions Liverpool to the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night, with a guard of honour planned for Jurgen Klopp 's side.

City surrendered the crown they have worn for two years courtesy of last week's defeat at Chelsea, leaving Liverpool an unassailable 23 points clear with seven games of the campaign remaining.

The first of those games just so happens to be against the team they have dethroned, and Man City will be keen to prove a point against the runaway league leaders.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the now-former champions could line up at the Etihad.

Out: Fernandinho (suspended), Sergio Aguero (knee)

Doubtful: Eric Garcia (head)

> Click here for Man City's latest injury and suspension news ahead of this match

Pep Guardiola has suggested that he will prioritise the cup competitions for the remainder of this season - and rightly so with a potential treble still up for grabs - but he certainly will not want to roll over against the team that has just usurped his as kings of England.

City named a strong side for Sunday's FA Cup victory over Newcastle United, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Aymeric Laporte and Raheem Sterling all starting the match.

Guardiola's tendency to rotate makes every player that started on Sunday a candidate to sit out on Thursday, but those three are arguably City's most important available players at the moment and will be expected to start again for Liverpool's visit.

Gabriel Jesus will also hope to lead the line again 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 tactic this time around.

Fernandinho is still suspended following his red card from that Chelsea game, leaving Guardiola with a choice between John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis at centre-back alongside Laporte.

Stones has not played since lockdown and has not been trusted at the best of times either, while Garcia remains a doubt following his heavy collision with Ederson in the first game back, meaning that Otamendi is favourite to start at the back.

Indeed, the only change 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 those pushing for starts.

> Click here to see how Liverpool could line up for this contest

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