Liverpool face Manchester City in a title clash that could determine the destination of the Premier League.
The Reds are seven points off Pep Guardiola’s side with the league leaders having a game in hand.
So far in 2021, it’s been a winless run at home, not like the unbeaten run at Anfield which seen the famous stadium labelled a ‘fortress’.
It’s been anything but so far since the turn of the year and if Jurgen Klopp’s side want to put a fight on in their quest to regain the Premier League the momentum will need to spark with nothing more than a win,
How should Liverpool line up?
We asked LFCTR writers for who they think should start on Sunday, should Ozun Kabak and/or Ben Davies make their debut?
Or should the Reds stick to their old guns as they look to hand City their first defeat since November 21st?
Will Morley – (@WHMorlers)
Arguably the decisive game in Liverpool’s league season. Therefore, I cannot see Klopp throwing new signings Davies and Kabak in at the deep end on such a momentous occasion.
Phillips and Henderson have proved an adequate partnership in recent games. Manchester City’s pace upfront may pose issues, particularly against Phillips.
As is often the case between these two sides, the midfield battle ultimately decides the war. A midfield trio of Thiago, Wijnaldum and Milner will provide necessary experience in big matches. Playing in his preferred number eight role, Thiago will have the freedom to dictate the game’s tempo.
Following a stale and unimaginative offensive performance, the Reds will need to be back to their best to breach an in-form City defence.
If Mané is fit, he will start. Liverpool desperately missed his impetus and directness on Wednesday.
Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Henderson, Robertson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Milner, Mane, Firmino, Salah
Harrison Kidd – (@HarrisonKidd7)
I think for Sunday’s game against Man City would be a great opportunity to get Henderson back in the midfield whose presence in the midfield has been greatly missed.
Personally, to get Henderson back in the midfield I would start Kabak at the back with Fabinho for his debut.
With Alisson, Mane and Fabinho back in training after missing the Brighton game, this will be a huge boost for Klopp as he looks to close the gap on City.
Liverpool missed Mane a lot against Brighton, Liverpool will need the front three fit and firing if we want to beat City and with Mane back in contention to start that is massive for Liverpool.
Starting XI (4-3-3): – Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Sam Jones (@samjones4556)
The return of both Fabinho and Mane is a big boost for us. Hopefully, Fabinho can sure up the backline and Henderson can now go back into midfield after doing well in defence.
The front three seems to have a good record against Manchester City so hopefully, they can continue that as they are some of the only obvious starters these days.
Thiago should get the chance to show his quality by picking out the balls no one else can play, he together with Jones could be an interesting duo creatively with Henderson holding it down.
The return of Allison will sure up the defence even more, so the back line could well be the strongest we have seen in a while.
Starting XI (4-3-3): Allison; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Stephen Killen (@SteKillenBL)
Sunday is a chance to kickstart the push for the title… again. Liverpool need to win, to start strong and find the ruthlessness of old.
Caoimhin Kelleher had a great game on Wednesday but with Alisson back, he has to start.
Ben Davies starts for me, we need a no-nonsense defender to deal with the tricky threats of Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, to name a few.
Fabinho should start alongside him for me, as we need Jordan Henderson further up.
If you look at the stats, Thiago’s home form isn’t pretty but with the magnitude of the game we need to play world class players, the Spaniard is that.
His tricky and clever passing can unlock a defence, we nearly did that on Wednesday only for naive finishing or awkward bounces not falling in our favour.
Georginio Wijnaldum keeps his place, he was poor against Brighton but in the six he is the linchpin between defence and attack.
Sadio Mané is back so he’s straight back in, Mohamed Salah needs to try something different and play on the last man, he also loves a goal against City.
Roberto Firmino leads the line.
Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Davies, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mane.