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SOCCER

Premier League: What are Liverpool and Man City’s possible starting lineups for Sunday?

Liverpool host Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday as the Reds look to extend their unbeaten run over Pep Guardiola’s side.

Update:
LEICESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City, shakes hands with Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, as they meet Referee Craig Pawson prior to kick off of The FA Community Shield between Manchester City and Liverpool FC at The King Power Stadium on July 30, 2022 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
Michael Regan - The FAGetty

Liverpool trail Manchester City by 13 points ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash between the two sides at Anfield.

Pep Guardiola believes Liverpool will still be City’s main title rivals this season. The City boss does not think the Reds’ present position of 10th reflects their ability.

At a press conference ahead of the game, Guardiola said: “Always have been, always it is, and will be. I know the quality they have, the character.

“If I answered this question with five or 10 games left I’d say I think Liverpool cannot catch the top of the league - in this case Arsenal - but being in the position we are and with the World Cup still to come, everything can happen.

“The opinion I have about this team does not change because of their situation in the table, not for one second. It always has been difficult in the years since we arrived together so it’s a tough game.

“The game will be dictated by what happens on the pitch, not because we are in front or behind.”

City played out 2-2 draws with Liverpool in the Premier League last season and lost both of their last two meetings, an FA Cup semi-final in April and the Community Shield in July.

Guardiola said: “I always had the feeling in Anfield that we behaved really well.

“Maybe in the last two games we were a little bit soft, in different circumstances, but you have to behave at the top, top level with and especially without the ball, and being active on the second balls and many, many things.

“But in Anfield, win or lose, we always behaved with huge personality. One of the biggest and nicest [stadiums] - it’s a joy to be there and part of this type of game.”

Haaland to return

Erling Haaland was rested for the midweek Champions League game at FC Copenhagen, with Guardiola saying he was tired. “He was tired, and Bernardo [Silva] and others as well, but they feel good and are ready for Sunday.”

Haaland is expected to return to the City lineup for the clash at Anfield.

Núñez vs Haaland

Uruguayan striker Darwin Núñez scored on his Liverpool debut when they beat City 3-1 in the Community Shield in July. Klopp spoke about the 23-year-old’s start to life on Merseyside.

“I think Darwin Núñez would have scored a couple more goals if he had played in the centre of Man City this season. He would be a pretty good striker for them as well, finishing the situations off. We have to improve our game to bring him more often in these situations.”

Haaland has netted 20 times in his first 13 appearances for City. “When you play against the best striker in the world you have to make sure he doesn’t get too many balls,” said Klopp when outlining Liverpool’s approach tomorrow.

“That is what you have to defend before you come into the challenge with him, but against City the problem is if you close down Haaland with too many players then you open up gaps for all the other world-class players they have. That will not make life easier.

“Erling combines so many things. It is rare that you have his finishing skills, that are obviously exceptional, but he moves really smart as well and that makes him tricky. Physically he sets new standards, the combination of being really physical and technical and sensational awareness, his orientation on the pitch is exceptional, he knows always where the decisive gaps are, he is barely offside, reads that really well: so many things that make him a striker. The package makes him special. Then you have some of the best players in the world around him at City in setting up goals and finding the right moments for the passes. Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, [Riyad] Mahrez, Phil Foden; they are all really good at that so that makes him a perfect fit.”

Possible Liverpool XI

Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Jota.

Note: Ibrahima Konate is a doubt and his absence, along with that of Matip and Alexander-Arnold, would likely see Milner come in at right-back and Gomez move into the centre.

Possible Man City XI

Ederson; Ake, Dias, Akanji, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva; Foden, Haaland, Grealish.

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