Liverpool return to Premier League action following the November international break when they make the difficult trip to Manchester City this coming Saturday.
Luckily for the Reds, the international period has actually come at a great time for Jurgen Klopp, with several of his injured players in line to return for the clash with the champions.
The German will need as many of his first-team starters at his disposal as possible for the weekend, with Man City the only team currently sat above the Reds in the Premier League.
A victory would see Liverpool leapfrog Saturday’s opponents, but the Reds haven’t won a Premier League match at the Etihad since 2015.
Here is how Liverpool could line up against Man City.
It’s going to be nigh-on impossible for Liverpool to keep a clean sheet at the Etihad on Saturday, but the return of Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez gives the Reds the best chance at shutting Man City’s attack out.
Gomez, who missed Liverpool’s last game against Brentford, should be fit again and Klopp could use the Englishman at left-back to cover for the underwhelming Kostas Tsimikas. The former Charlton Athletic defender would offer the Reds greater defensive solidity on the left flank.
Konate should find his way back into the starting lineup following a minor injury that kept him out of the France squad during the international break, his pace and power a perfect match for Erling Haaland – the Norwegian also doubtful for the game with a fitness concern.
Liverpool’s No. 5 will partner Virgil van Dijk in the heart of defence, the Dutch centre-back having rediscovered his best form this season. The Reds captain secured Euro 2024 qualification with the Netherlands after beating Ireland last Saturday and will hopefully have a similarly successful weekend in the Premier League.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will start at right-back, but how much he will be allowed to step into midfield is unclear. The thought of the 25-year-old up against the pace of Jeremy Doku is not a particularly appetising prospect from a Liverpool perspective.
Despite a late flight back to Merseyside after his excursions with Brazil,Alisson will almost certainly start at the Etihad.
Having had almost no midfield options during the clash with Brentford before the international break, Klopp now has some big decisions to make before the trip to Manchester.
Alexis Mac Allister will return from suspension this weekend but may be a little fatigued given he’s likely to play for Argentina against Brazil in the early hours of Wednesday morning. However, with the jury still out on Wataru Endo, the World Cup winner should return to the holding role against Man City.
Dominik Szoboszlai, fresh from an inspired two-goal performance for Hungary in Euro 2024 qualification, will undoubtedly start having been Liverpool’s best midfielder this season. However, he will have to do a little more defensive work than he’s used to against the Cityzens.
Klopp has a big choice to make in the third midfield slot, with both Ryan Gravenberch and Curtis Jones returning to fitness. The Englishman could get the nod though, especially given his experience for the Reds in such fixtures and his impressive work rate.
NUNEZ OR GAKPO?
Mohamed Salah scored four goals for Egypt against Djibouti during the international period and will hopefully continue his devastating form against the champions. The winger scored in all four meetings with the Cityzens last season, including twice at the Etihad.
Luis Diaz also netted twice for Colombia against Alisson’s Brazil during his country’s first 2026 World Cup qualifier of the November break, but may be rested in favour of the in-form Diogo Jota. The Portuguese has scored two beautiful goals in his last two matches for the Reds.
Perhaps the biggest dilemma for Klopp comes at centre-forward. Cody Gakpo has started games against Chelsea, Newcastle United and Tottenham this season, but it’s hard to ignore the increasingly impressive Darwin Nunez.
The Uruguayan was amongst the goals over the international break and, even if a little jetlagged, has the potential to cause Man City’s backline all sorts of problems. However, he would be a great option off the bench too.
(4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Jones; Salah, Nunez, Jota.