Predicted Liverpool XI to play Manchester City - No changes for Rodgers

Match to be played on Thursday 26th December 2013 at 17:30. Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Liverpool will be full of confidence when they take on Manchester City this Boxing Day.

Brendan Rodgers’ team are right in the hunt for the Premier League title and are still basking in the glory of a brand new Luis Suarez contract, which ties the Uruguayan down to the club for several years.

It will be one of the bigger tests that the younger players in Liverpool’s team have faced but they should be up for the challenge. Here’s the side Rodgers could select to face City.

GK – Simon Mignolet

The Belgian has been one of the most consistent new signings for the club this season. He seems to have good control and a good command over the back four in front of him, which allows Liverpool to play with some confidence.

RB – Glen Johnson

Johnson is doing his chances of getting the England right-back slot back a world of good. He’s extremely effective at both ends of the pitch and he’s playing with a lot of confidence.

CB – Martin Skrtel

Skrtel is the leader in the back four and someone who makes sure that the shape and position of the defence is never threatened. He lacks a little bit of pace but he’s a physical player, which will be important in this game.

CB – Mamadou Sakho

Sakho has settled into the back four alongside Skrtel well. He’s keeping Daniel Agger out of the team and looks to have adjusted to the pace and pressure of the Premier League well.

LB – Jon Flanagan

A lot of eyes are going to be on Flanagan in this match. It will be a real test for him up against a team that have several players who can control the ball well. However, he’s passed every test so far.

RM – Raheem Sterling

Sterling will inject a little pace into the midfield down the right. He’ll be a very important player if Liverpool get pinned back and have to counter attack in typical away fashion.

DM – Lucas

Lucas needs a big performance if Liverpool are going to win this game. He has two jobs to do; protect the defence and watch for the deep runners and be the leader in the midfield.

CM – Joe Allen

Allen has shown a solid ability in recent games to control the pace and flow of Liverpool’s midfield play. He’s very subtle in the way he tries to get the midfield playing slower or quicker football but he’s effective.

AM – Jordan Henderson

Henderson has been a stand out performer in recent weeks. He’s the midfielder who is getting up to support Luis Suarez but he’s also good enough to drop into a central and defensive midfield role if needed.

LM – Philippe Coutinho

The Brazilian will start on the left but he won’t always stay there. He’ll drift inside when Flanagan gets forward and he can also fill in at the top of midfield if Henderson gets caught out of position.

ST – Luis Suarez

Suarez’ form and ability doesn’t need to be talked about. He’s the big threat to the Manchester City defence and Liverpool need him to have a big game to get over the line in this match.

images: © Sanjiva, © Free-ers

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