Sports

Liverpool v Manchester City: Combined XI based on form and fitness

Liverpool v Manchester City: Combined XI based on form and fitness

"The Everton game showed he can adapt to the job", said Klopp. They're the only side who have managed to come close to City's tally, matching them with 16 over the last six games.

The deeper point here, as City go to Anfield looking to prolong their own run and actually match that 1988 Liverpool side on 31 games, is whether it gradually gets to the point that kind of deeper motivation is required to finally beat them.

Player of the Year picked up a groin injury late on in that game and has since missed the win at Burnley on New Year's Day and the subsequent victory over Everton in the FA Cup third round.

But this week sees the rare sight of an odds against price with Paddy Power chalking up City at 5/4 for their trip to Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

"It is not the first time he goes back". That City have also scored the most goals (64) and conceded the fewest (13) after 22 rounds of action simply underlines how incredible they have been thus far.

The Dutchman was handed an unlikely debut in the Merseyside derby mere days after officially signing, and looked like he'd never been away.

They will be hoping that the arrival of new defender, Virgil van Dijk will help stop Pep Guardiola's irresistible frontline.

In the end it took a Sergio Aguero last minute headed goal to win the game.

The very fact City are on this run suggests they are on a level beyond most teams. The Dutchman must be at his £75million best.

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The midfield is where Liverpool could be hurt, and quite a lot.

"Playing Georgino Wijnaldum gives them a better balance".

While Klopp can argue that the first-half red card to Sadio Mane changed the game, City were ruthless in dispatching their opposition. On paper the team still have plenty of goals in them but have they lost the player who made them tick? "Sunday might be a little soon, he needs to do proper training". Slightly better side, slightly better chances.

The mercurial Egyptian is facing a race for fitness ahead of this contest, and his presence for the Reds can not be understated.

Salah has undoubtedly been Liverpool's man of the moment this season, scoring 17 times in the Premier League already.

Liverpool will start life without Philippe Coutinho after he joined Barcelona officially on Monday. Tony Pulis, who was willing to field three defensive midfielders anyway, needed no encouragement even if West Bromwich Albion's 3-2 defeat was illogically entertaining.

After being fashioned into a full-back following the injury to Benjamin Mendy, Delph has stepped up to the plate.

Under Guardiola Sterling has been a revelation. It is a massive profit from five years ago when Liverpool, with Brendan Rodgers in charge, paid Inter Milan £8.5 million for the midfielder after former manager Rafa Benitez, then coach of Inter, recommended him to his former club. The next thing they'll have to do is keep out one of the most impressive attacking lines in European soccer.

The Fab Four forwards have been reduced to the Fab Three yet with Adam Lalana fit again and ready to resume the attacking midfield role vacated by Coutinho, Liverpool's front-line should still fire on all cylinders.


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