Liverpool team news: Two changes vs Man City as Jurgen Klopp leaves Luis Diaz out

Jurgen Klopp will not name Luis Diaz in the travelling squad for Liverpool’s match against Manchester City today. The Reds face reigning champions City at the Etihad (12.30pm) seeking a win to reignite their Premier League top four hopes after a miserable couple of results before the international break. Express Sport looks at how Liverpool are likely to line up…

Goalkeeper – Alisson

No surprises in goal, where Alisson will hope to repeat the feat of a clean sheet against City, which he managed at Anfield in October. It is not clear if the 42-goal superstar Erling Haaland will be fit or not to face Liverpool.

But Brazilian No 1 Alisson has only conceded once in his last three league away games and is capable of having a huge say on the outcome of today’s result regardless of whether or not Haaland features.

Defence – Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson

Despite criticism of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defending, Liverpool know they need to be positive against City and their local-born right-back starting massively helps them in that cause. Therefore he will be selected over James Milner or Joe Gomez.

The back four should be unchanged from the 1-0 Bernabeu loss to Real Madrid in Liverpool’s last outing. That would mean Ibrahima Konate partnering Virgil van Dijk rather than Joel Matip. Gomez should be on the bench again as he was in Madrid after injury. Andy Robertson will keep his spot at left-back.

Midfield – Fabinho, Henderson, Elliott

Liverpool were dealt the cruel blow two weeks ago that the blossoming Stefan Bajcetic’s season is over while Naby Keita has sustained a fresh problem over the break. Thiago Alcantara, meanwhile, remains unavailable so Klopp’s first change to the line-up should therefore see veteran Milner drop back out.

Captain Jordan Henderson should displace him, with Fabinho remaining the anchor of the midfield. Without Thiago, Keita or Bajcetic’s energy, Harvey Elliott should be expected to provide some legs in the middle with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain an option to offer new dynamism from the bench.

Attack – Salah, Nunez, Gakpo

Diaz will not even be on the substitutes’ bench after Klopp confirmed he still has stages to go through before he will be considered for selection. But there was a positive update on Darwin Nunez who appears fit to face City and if he is, will start through the middle.

Mohamed Salah has 10 goals against City and scored the winner against Guardiola and co at Anfield. He will start on the right with Cody Gakpo the likeliest starter on the left. That would be the second XI change with Diogo Jota, who has yet to find form since coming back from injury, being benched.

The Portuguese attacker and Roberto Firmino will be the game-changing options from the bench. Fabio Carvalho will also hope to be among the reserves having scored at the Etihad in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup loss there before Christmas.

Expected Liverpool XI vs Man City in full: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Elliott; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo