James Pearce has named his predicted lineup for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Manchester City on Sunday.
The Athletic journalist believes that Dejan Lovren will start alongside Virgil Van Dijk in the heart of defence, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropping out of the side, despite scoring the winner against Genk in midweek.
In total, Pearce predicts five changes from Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Anfield.
Writing in a Q&A for The Athletic, he named his team as: “Alisson, Trent AA, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane.”
You have to feel a little bit sorry for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain if he does miss out on a starting spot in this one. The midfielder has been in fantastic form since coming back from injury, and was inspired against Genk in midweek. As well as netting the winner, he also managed an impressive Whoscored rating of 8.12, and in any kind of meritocratic system, you would like to see him rewarded for his good work. That being said, this is the biggest game of Liverpool’s season so far, and even if they don’t win it, they really can’t afford to lose it. On that basis, don’t be surprised to see Jurgen Klopp go with the more defensive option of Jordan Henderson in the engine room to try and combat City’s attacking talents. Whether it’s the right move remains to be seen, of course, but even if he doesn’t start, there’s no saying the Ox can’t still have an effect on this one.