Liverpool predicted line up Against Manchester city

Liverpool’s newly crowned Premier League champions will be given a hugely symbolic guard of honour by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday night.

Pep Guardiola’s side had been champions for the past two years – and won every domestic trophy last term – but have been swept aside this season by Liverpool’s ruthless, relentless title charge.

So the guard of honour will reflect a Premier League power shift – although it will also provide no shortage of motivation for City’s players as they look ahead to upsetting the Reds’ title defence next term.

Most will have looked it this game at the beginning of this campaign and seen it as a potential title decider – but with Liverpoolhaving wrapped up their 19th top-flight crown with seven games to spare it is instead a chance for both teams to strike a psychological blow.

For the home side, it is also a last desperate chance to protect their own records, with Jurgen Klopp’s men on course to smash City’s Premier League bests for the highest points total and highest number of goals scored in a season.

And for Liverpool, it is a chance to prove their superiority beyond all doubt.

So both sides will field the strongest lineups they can in a match which Klopp last week suggested could be “the best game ever played behind closed doors”.

Liverpool can afford to give game time to the likes of January signing Takumi Minamino, and young prospects such as Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Neco Williams.

But the best they can probably hope for from this one will be a cameo role from the bench, with Elliott and Minamino both having appeared late on during the 4-0 thrashing over Crystal Palace last week which ultimately ended the Reds’ 30-year title drought.

Joel Matip will miss the match after the Liverpool centre-half was ruled out for rest of the campaign because of a foot injury.

James Milner is back in training after a hamstring issue caused him to sit out the win over Palace, but the former City midfielder may not be ready to face the club he helped to two Premier League crowns.

City remain without the suspended Fernandinho, who completes a two-match ban.

Striker Sergio Aguero is out for the season, while centre-half Eric Garcia could miss out again due to the head injury he suffered against Arsenal.

Liverpool predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

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