After having lost to Crystal Palace before the international break Liverpool will travel the short distance to the Etihad with no fear as they look to bounce back to winning ways under new coach Jürgen Klopp, and especially so after the former Borussia Dortmund trainer told them they have just five weeks to cement their place in his team before the transfer window opens in January.
The good news for Klopp is that he has a host of player returning from injury to choose from, including striker Daniel Sturridge along with Jordon Ibe, James Milner and Kolo Toure.
Simon Mignolet will start in goal, hoping to retain the brilliant form he showed in Belgium’s 3-1 win against Italy, but it is in defence where Klopp will have to make a change playing Dejan Lovren for the injured Mamadou Sakho who is expected to be side-lined for two months with a knee injury he picked up during the loss to Palace.
Martin Skrtel will be the other central defender while Nathaniel Clyne will play wide right hoping to continue the form he showed in England’s 2-0 friendly win over France at Wembley on Tuesday.
Wide left will be Spaniard Alberto Moreno as he is virtually unchallenged for his place in the team at the moment, but now that Jose Enrique has been brought back into the fold and that academy product Brad Smith has just signed a new contract Klopp has cover should Moreno get injured.
In midfield we expect to see James Milner start against his former club with either Lucas Leiva or Emre Can partnering him in a defensive midfield role which will allow Klopp to send out a four pronged attack of three attacking midfielders and a lone striker.
Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are two players we would like to see start, leaving Klopp the option of either starting Adam Lallana or Jordan Ibe wide right. For argument sake we will start the former Southampton player and leave Ibe to be an impact sub if needed.
Klopp will of course be itching to start Daniel Sturridge up front, but may be hesitant given his recent injuries so we will go with Christian Benteke as the lone striker while Sturridge could get some playing time depending on the score line of the match.
Likely Liverpool XI vs Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Mignolet; Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno; Milner, Lucas; Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho; Benteke