Liverpool and Manchester City will provide the neutrals one final heavy-weight clash prior to the New Year and it’ll be a game where some of the top players in the Premier League will be pitted against each other. A year ago, Manchester City’s squad was undoubtedly better than Liverpool but this season, Klopp has managed to get the best out of the players. So much so, that they have outshone the City stars who have punched below their weight.
Pep’s philosophy hasn’t been implemented wholly yet and problems at the back have often overshadowed the good work their attackers have done. However, they have turned up against the bigger teams this season and will want to break their Anfield hoodoo, the only ground they are yet to win in the top flight.
Liverpool will be slight favourites for the game, but let’s just take a look at the talent on show. Here’s a combined line-up.
Goalkeeping has been an issue for both the teams as Bravo has struggled with the ball at his feet. Karius, on the other hand, has found the physicality of the league too much to handle and Mignolet has done a decent job after replacing him. Bravo, however, makes the combined team.
James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne have done well as the two full-backs and make the team over Kolarov and Sagna. Ragnar Klavan has been impressive with his composure on the ball and will partner Otamendi at the back. Defence isn’t the strongest suit of either team.
Jordan Henderson has silenced his critics this season and has become indispensable to the Liverpool team. His distribution and combative ability have helped Liverpool going forward and negate the counter-attacks from the opposition sides. Yaya Toure partners the Liverpool skipper in the midfield. Toure’s performances have been a massive boost for City who lost Gundogan for the rest of the season.
Kevin De Bruyne and Sadio Mane will take the wide positions. Mane is a candidate for the signing of the season already with his incredible output and Liverpool will miss him when he departs for the AFCON. De Bruyne has nine assists this season and has been a chief creator for the team.
Roberto Firmino starts up front, ahead of Origi and Aguero. The Brazilian’s movement and ability to drop deeper and collaborate with the build-up play is what makes him stand out. Besides, Aguero hasn’t featured of late due to his suspension. David Silva is the best creator in the City team and he’ll start behind Firmino.