Mane, Fabinho and Alisson return for Liverpool as Guardiola benches Jesus

4 Min Read

The most-anticipated Premier League fixture of the weekend, and perhaps the calendar year so far, sees reigning champions Liverpool take on current league leaders Manchester City.

Kick-off at Anfield is at 16:30 GMT.

A win for City would take them ten points clear of Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the blue half of Manchester also having a game in hand to play on top of that.

Klopp has brought back three of his big guns from illness and injury for this fixture, with Sadio Mane, Alisson and Fabinho returning to the starting XI.

Fabinho will be deployed alongside Jordan Henderson at centre-half, with the Liverpool boss resisting the urge to hand a first start to new recruits Ozan Kabak or Ben Davies – the latter of whom doesn’t even make the matchday squad.

Along with the three returning players above, Curtis Jones is recalled to the hosts’ line-up.

Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner, Nat Phillips and Caoimhin Kelleher are the men to make way.

Guardiola has made two changes to his City line-up as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Phil Foden start in place of the benched Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus.

The form book points to City in this fixture, with the visitors on a nine-match winning run in the top flight.

Guardiola’s troops have recorded 11 shut-outs in their last 13 matches, too.

Liverpool have won only two of their last eight Premier League games, meanwhile, with many of their key FPL assets in poor form.

Andrew Robertson is on his longest barren run without an attacking return since his debut season at Anfield, while Mohamed Salah – who is still the division’s top goalscorer, lest we forget – hasn’t found the net on Merseyside since Gameweek 13.

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Robertson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Manchester City XI: Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden.

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