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19 Mar 2017

Confirmed Teams: 'Magnificent' €55m star returns; double injury boost; Klopp ignores 51 goal/assist attacker

Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan has retained his place in the starting Xi for today's Premier League clash with Manchester City.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Klavan, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.

SUBS: Karius, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold, Woodburn, Lucas, Lovren, Origi.

MAN CITY: Caballero, Fernandinho, Stones, Otamendi, Clichy, Yaya Touré, Sané, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, Agüero

* Lovren returns to the squad, but has to make do with a place on the bench. After his recent injury issues, this is arguably the right decision.

* Firmino returns after missing out against Burnley last week. Hopefully, he's fully fit and not being rushed back to early.

* Origi also makes the bench, so it looks like he has recovered from the injury he picked up last weekend.

* Once again, Woodburn is preferred to Wilson, who has 51 goals/assists this season for the U23s. Clearly, Woodburn is Klopp's newest golden boy; he probably has better running stats than Wilson, hence his inclusion every week (despite being significantly less prolific than Wilson).

* Yaya Toure returns to Man City's starting lineup after missing out against Monaco during the week.

Historically, the Reds have a great record against City, but Guardiola's front five (Sané, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, Agüero) is (potentially) a formidable attacking unit, and if they're on song today, there could be problems for Liverpool.

Like Klopp, though, Guardiola is a stubborn, tactically inflexible manager, and I fully expect City (like Spurs a couple of weeks ago) to play into Liverpool's hands.

* Firmino: €55m-rated (CIES). Hailed as 'magnificent' by Phil Thompson.




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