Liverpool will face off against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side on Sunday, in the hope of bringing their unbeaten run to a halt
Liverpool will welcome Premier League leaders Manchester City to the Anfield, in matchweek 23 of the Premier League on Sunday.
Ahead of the game, the Reds were handed a huge boost with the return of star attacker Mohamed Salah, who had been struggling with a groin problem recently. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Friday, that the Egyptian forward was fit and raring to go.
“If nothing happens then yes, Mo is back. He is training completely normal, and of course that is good for us.”
Klopp also revealed that Daniel Sturridge, who is shrouded with rumours of a January exit, has also returned to training, but it is unlikely that he will be completely ready before the game. He also provided updates on the status of couple of other players who are out with injuries – namely Alberto Moreno and Jordan Henderson.
“Daniel is back in training, healthy and on the way to be fit again,” Klopp said.
“Hendo is on the pitch and training, he wears football boots which is fine! But he’s not in team training. Moreno is back in team training, City is probably too early for him. He needs time to have proper training now. He needs time to adapt to the intensity of a game, but he looks really good.”
Another big question that was thrown at the manager was whether January signing Virgil van Dijk will be involved against Manchester City on Sunday. The Netherlands international joined Liverpool in a whopping £75 million deal earlier this month. He made his debut in the 2-1 win over Merseyside rivals Everton in the FA Cup, scoring the late winner.
However, Klopp was coy in his response on Van Dijk’s involvement for Sunday’s blockbuster clash. He said:
“The Everton game showed that it’s a do-able job to adapt him. He was quite impressive, it was a really good game. I was not sure before the game, but it was easy to say afterwards that yes, I’m sure!
“He’s not guaranteed to start every match, and he should not. Even Virgil van Dijk should not be asked to play 60 games a season.”
With Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno out of the clash, Joe Gomez and Andrew Robertson are very much guaranteed to occupy the full-back positions. Despite Klopp’s statements, Van Dijk is likely to get the nod in the heart of the defence, alongside Joel Matip, while Simon Mignolet will man the goal for Liverpool.
With Philippe Coutinho’s departure, a slot opens up in the midfield, which is likely to be taken up by former Arsenal man Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum set to occupy the other two slots. The attack pretty much picks itself, with Mo Salah set to return on the right wing and Sadio Mane on the opposite flank, while Roberto Firmino will operate through the middle.