Manchester City and Liverpool, two of the greatest Premier League rivals in recent history, shared the spoils twice this season. There will be an outcome though on Saturday evening as they are set to clash heads in an epic FA Cup semifinal at the Wembley Stadium.
City are leading the league race over the Reds by just a point. Also, the hunt for the Champions League is still on as the two sides have now progressed to the semifinals of this prestigious European competition. Liverpool are still chasing a historic ‘quadruple’ having won the League Cup already. However, the Citizens would look to spoil their party and pursue the ‘treble’ dream, including their first-ever Champions League title.
Predicted 4-3-3 Manchester City Lineup To Face Liverpool
Although Zack Steffen has been the preferred choice for Cup competitions, Pep Guardiola might not risk the USMNT international in such a high-voltage encounter. Ederson, with his composure, ball-playing ability and calmness, should feature between the sticks versus the Merseysiders.
Kyle Walker is ruled out with an ankle sprain picked up against Atletico Madrid. Joao Cancelo might shift to the right allowing versatile Nathan Ake to slot in as a left fullback. Fit-again Ruben Dias remained as an unused substitute this midweek and the gaffer should stick with Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, who have formed a resilient central defensive partnership.
The absence of Kevin De Bruyne would be a massive blow for Manchester City. The fans would still hope for his speedy recovery prior to the tie, but the gaffer might eventually end up with Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva operating in the middle of the park. Rodri has been a revelation in City midfield over the past couple of years, and the manager must allow him to pull the strings as a deep-lying playmaker. Fernandinho is also there to add strength and experience, if deployed as a second-half substitute.
Guardiola played a trick last week by handing Gabriel Jesus a rare start. The Brazilian holds a decent scoring record against the Reds, and therefore, should spearhead the attack ahead of Jack Grealish or Phil Foden. Foden, meanwhile, is a far more lethal weapon down the right-hand flank, whereas Raheem Sterling might get the nod over Riyad Mahrez while locking horns with his former employers. Sterling and Jesus are flexible position-wise, and the same must be utilized strategically against Liverpool’s highline.