Predicted Liverpool team to face Man City: Salah among expected returns for FA Cup semi-final clash

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah Liverpool v Arsenal August 2019

Following a rest for fatigue reasons, the predicted Liverpool team to face Manchester City should see Mohamed Salah brought back into the fold, among others.

Liverpool’s form in the last few weeks has been fantastic, no matter the competition. The Reds overcame Benfica 6-4 on aggregate to advance to the Champions League semi-finals in the week.

Their last league game saw them pitted against this weekend’s opponents, Manchester City. The Citizens went a goal ahead twice, but Liverpool levelled quickly after both goals, and the game ended 2-2.

In the FA Cup, Liverpool’s progress has been relatively straightforward. They beat Shrewsbury 4-1 in the third round, and Cardiff 3-1 the following round. However, their last two FA Cup fixtures have seen them win by only one goal, against Norwich City and then Nottingham Forest.

The Reds side was sprinkled with star quality for those games, but not at full strength. However, a side more reminiscent of the one that faced City at the weekend could be on show in the semi-final.

Jurgen Klopp gave a clue as to his one of his selections in his pre-match press conference. The German stated it was a “necessity” to rest Mohamed Salah in the week – he was substituted on in the second half.

That could mean the winger was being rested for the upcoming FA Cup tie, along with others that missed out. Klopp also mentioned Diogo Jota could miss out. Liverpool need to “have a look” at the striker’s knock ahead of the game.

Last time out – Liverpool 3-3 Benfica

Ibrahima Konate and Jordan Henderson of LiverpoolA number of players were rotated for the Champions League quarter-final second leg.

Usual goalkeeper Alisson Becker started in net. The centre-back pairing was Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate – the latter scored just his second goal for the Reds.

Joe Gomez was utilised at right-back, with Kostas Tsimikas at left-back.

James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita started in the midfield.

Luis Diaz occupied one slot on the wings. Roberto Firmino – scorer of a second-half brace – was deployed through the middle, with Jota rounding out the front three.

Predicted Liverpool team against Manchester City

Given a host of players were rested in the week, that could point to potential selections for this game.

Alisson is likely to remain in net. Virgil van Dijk will come back in to partner Matip. The pair’s strong partnership at the back will be vital to stopping the potent City attack.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson will replace Gomez and Tsimikas, adding a lot of creativity down the flanks.

Henderson may be the only survivor from the Benfica game in the midfield. Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara could return to partner him.

Salah played against Aston Villa and Manchester United in the FA Cup last season. Despite having not turned out in the tournament this season, a massive game against Man City means he will probably start. He has not scored in the last five in all competitions, and now would be a great time to get back in the goals.

Given Jota is burdened by a knock, Sadio Mane could take his place in the side and play through the middle, with Diaz switching to the left. Jota is likely to play some part from the bench if not in the starting line-up though.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Diaz

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