Anfield hosts what could be the game of the season as the Reds look to become the first team this campaign to defeat Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday.
Liverpool have a 17-game unbeaten streak of their own to maintain, and will be desperate to do so at the expense of City’s run to stay strongly placed in the top-four race.
Focus on Klopp’s selection will be just as intense as that on the match itself as the world waits to see how the German adapts his team without Philippe Coutinho.
Options have been strengthened by the returns of certain absentees with the biggest boost coming in Salah’s recovery, but Klopp faces a key decision on his midfield selection.
- Returning absentees hand Klopp increasingly strong squad
- Mohamed Salah fit and poised to start after missing two games with groin injury
- Daniel Sturridge available having recovered from injury and illness
- Alberto Moreno back in full training but not yet ready for action
- Virgil van Dijk in line for first Premier League start
- Simon Mignolet to replace Loris Karius for Premier League duties
- Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan, James Milner & Dominic Solanke all available
Liverpool’s XI vs. City
Klopp is likely to make only minor changes to the lineup as a result of certain key players now being fit and fresh enough to start.
Salah’s reintroduction is a no-brainer and the reenergised Gini Wijnaldum is likely to join the Egyptian in entering the XI.
Milner will surely make way, but Klopp’s big call comes in whether to hand Oxlade-Chamberlain or Lallana the advanced midfield role.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s superior form and sharpness should see the summer signing chosen to complete a powerful midfield unit with Wijnaldum and defensive shield Emre Can.
An unchanged back four should be named ahead of Mignolet, with Joel Matip again partnering Van Dijk, which would help begin establishing some much-needed consistency in defence.
The above selection is what most would expect—and want—to see at Anfield, but speaking in his pre-match press conference, the boss suggested he may go against the grain.
Klopp hinted that Van Dijk may not start, citing how the Dutchman still needs to adapt and that the team must be picked specifically for what is needed game-to-game rather than reputation.
And those comments were followed by glowing praise for in-form Klavan, who Klopp said is in “incredible shape” currently, so the Estonian could well start next to Matip instead.
Meanwhile, a second adjustment could see Lallana chosen ahead of Oxlade-Chamberlain to provide the ammunition for the front three to hopefully fire the Reds to victory.
Optimism is in short supply ahead of this mouth-watering clash, but the doom and gloom must be put aside and a huge effort produced from all at Anfield to secure what would be an incredible win.