19 Nov 2015

Liverpool-XI vs. City: Klopp finally drops £46m-trio? 'Amazing' attacker returns? Surprise start for Teixeira? (I live in hope!) [PREDICTION LEAGUE]

Rejoice! The interminable international break is finally over, and after THREE international borefests in the last three months, football fans now have merciful respite until March 2016. It's back to business for Liverpool this weekend, and after turgid 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace, the Reds face an even tougher game against Manchester City.

Pre-match news:

* Jordan Ibe and James Milner are back in full training, and should be available for selection.

* Sakho, Toure, Rossiter, Ings, Henderson, Flanagan, and Gomez will all miss the game through injury.

* According to the Daily Mail:

"Jose Enrique will be given the chance to resurrect his Liverpool career when Jurgen Klopp reintegrates him back into the first team squad".

* 'Amazing' Reds striker Daniel Sturridge is also back in training, and on Wednesday, he provided the following update:

"I’m fit and ready to go and. I’ve been back training for the past couple of days and I was training when he [Klopp] first arrived. It’s going to be a great time for me".

Forgive me if I'm less than enthused about Sturridge's claim that he's 'fit and ready to go'.

Unfortunately, Sturridge is the football equivalent of the 'Boy who Cried Wolf', and he's made the same statement so many times now that it's basically meaningless.

Clearly, Sturridge is sending an unsubtle message that he wants to play on Saturday, but in my view, if he's involved, it should be as an impact sub, and that's the way it should stay for (at least) the next month.

Whether he's a sub, or a starter, it'll make no difference. As surely as night follows day, Sturridge will get injured again; it's simply a matter of when, not if.

My preferred team for Saturday:

-------------- Bogdan
Clyne --- Skrtel - Lovren ---- Moreno
---------- Lucas - Milner
-- Teixeira - Firmino --- Coutinho
------------- Benteke

As a 4321:

-------------- Bogdan
Clyne --- Skrtel - Lovren ---- Moreno
----- Milner - Lucas - Teixeira
------- Firmino --- Coutinho
------------- Benteke

* In my view, Lallana, Can, and Mignolet were Liverpool's worst players against Crystal Palace, and don't deserve to start. (Can and Mignolet gifted Palace goals; Lallana, as usual, did nothing). However, Klopp will probably stick with at least two of those three, so I expect to see the following:

-------------- Mignolet
Clyne --- Skrtel - Lovren ---- Moreno
----- Milner - Lucas - Can
------- Firmino --- Coutinho
------------- Benteke

Or, if Klopp goes with Firmino up-front again:

-------------- Mignolet
Clyne --- Skrtel - Lovren ---- Moreno
----- Milner - Lucas - Can
------- Lallana --- Coutinho
------------- Firmino

PREDICTION LEAGUE

You have until Saturday @ 5.15PM (GMT) to get your predictions in. More bonus points are available this weekend!

* 20 Points: First goalscorer (Can be for either team).

* 20 Points: Liverpool player who'll lose possession the most (just predict the player, not the number)

* 50 points: Number of appearances Sturridge will make before he gets injured again.

* 50 Point Triple-Whammy: Perfect score + first goalscorer + loss of possession.

My prediction: 3-1 to City. De Bruyne first scorer. Lallana to lose possession the most. 4 games before Sturridge gets injured again.

Note: Can, Mignolet, and Lallana = £46m combined cost.

Author: Jaimie K



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