Liverpool’s lineup options for Man City friendly as Salah & Mane return to squad

25 July 2018

Liverpool take on Man City in New Jersey on Wednesday evening (1am UK), with Jurgen Klopp still looking to utilise his squad effectively in pre-season.


The Reds lost 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund on Sunday night, following four matches without defeat this summer prior to the clash in Charlotte.

Liverpool now face their second International Champions Cup outing, as an under-strength City side stand before them at the MetLife Stadium, home of New York’s NFL teams the Giants and the Jets.

Joel Matip has flown home after picking up a quad injury and the likes of Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson are still unavailable after World Cup duty.

 

First Half

Karius, Clyne, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Keita, Lallana, Ojo, Jones, Sturridge.

Despite his latest error against Dortmund, in which he spilled a routine save to allow Jacob Bruun Larsen to make it 3-1, Loris Karius is expected to start.

Nathaniel Clyne has spoken of his happiness at being back in the fold following a serious back problem last season and he will occupy his usual right-back berth, with Andy Robertson on the opposite flank.

Matip’s injury and Dejan Lovren still being on holiday means Joe Gomez will get another chance to shine in his favoured centre-back role alongside Virgil van Dijk.

Fabinho and Naby Keita were kept apart on Sunday evening, with the former playing the opening 45 minutes and the latter coming on in the second half, but Klopp may consider playing them both from the start.

Adam Lallana, like Clyne, is looking fresh after recovering from injury problems and it would be a surprise not to see him named in the starting lineup.

Curtis Jones has been a revelation so far this summer, cutting a remarkably assured figure for a 17-year-old, and he stands a good chance of featuring prominently.

Sheyi Ojo has also got plenty of playing time which should continue in New Jersey and a revitalised Daniel Sturridge will be raring to go in attack.

 

Second Half Changes

CHARLOTTE, USA - Sunday, July 22, 2018: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after a preseason International Champions Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC at the Bank of America Stadium. Borussia Dortmund won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp recently spoke about upping the playing time for certain individuals, explaining that it is only natural as the summer progresses and fitness improves:

“We will now increase the game time a little bit, 60 minutes or whatever. We have to see how it feels in New York when we play against City.

“You really need to make the decision in that moment. 45 and 45 is perfect in the moment but from now on we will increase it a little bit.”

CHARLOTTE, USA - Sunday, July 22, 2018: Liverpool's Marko Grujic, Pedro Chirivella, Mohamed Salah, Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane before a preseason International Champions Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC at the Bank of America Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That suggests his rotation won’t be quite as noticeable as it has been in first five matches of pre-season, although changes will still be made.

The most exciting aspect of the match is the return of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, with Liverpool’s outstanding African duo in line to enjoy second-half cameos.

Klopp will be very wary of not overdoing it with them, though, as well as with the returning Marko Grujic.

James Milner will get more minutes under his belt in place of Fabinho, Keita or Lallana after the break and Gini Wijnaldum should appear for the first time this summer.

CHARLOTTE, USA - Sunday, July 22, 2018: Liverpool's James Milner during a preseason International Champions Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC at the Bank of America Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Misfiring forward pair Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke will need to impress when they are introduced.

Origi is already being linked with a move to Valencia, with the Belgian set to be deemed surplus to requirements by Klopp, and Solanke could be loaned out if he doesn’t find an extra gear in the next few matches.

Alberto Moreno, Ragnar Klavan, Ben Woodburn, Lazar Markovic, Rafa Camacho, Nathaniel Phillips and Pedro Chirivella are in contention and young goalkeepers Kamil Grabara and Caoimhin Kelleher have an outside chance of featuring.

This should be another good run-out for Liverpool’s players, who then face Man United in their final International Champions Cup game on Saturday night.

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