Dugout Discussion

Mane, Fabinho and Alisson return for Liverpool as Guardiola benches Jesus

The most-anticipated Premier League fixture of the weekend, and perhaps the calendar year so far, sees reigning champions Liverpool take on current league leaders Manchester City.

Kick-off at Anfield is at 16:30 GMT.

A win for City would take them ten points clear of Jurgen Klopp’s side, with the blue half of Manchester also having a game in hand to play on top of that.

Klopp has brought back three of his big guns from illness and injury for this fixture, with Sadio Mane, Alisson and Fabinho returning to the starting XI.

Fabinho will be deployed alongside Jordan Henderson at centre-half, with the Liverpool boss resisting the urge to hand a first start to new recruits Ozan Kabak or Ben Davies – the latter of whom doesn’t even make the matchday squad.

Along with the three returning players above, Curtis Jones is recalled to the hosts’ line-up.

Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner, Nat Phillips and Caoimhin Kelleher are the men to make way.

Guardiola has made two changes to his City line-up as Oleksandr Zinchenko and Phil Foden start in place of the benched Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus.

The form book points to City in this fixture, with the visitors on a nine-match winning run in the top flight.

Guardiola’s troops have recorded 11 shut-outs in their last 13 matches, too.

Liverpool have won only two of their last eight Premier League games, meanwhile, with many of their key FPL assets in poor form.

Andrew Robertson is on his longest barren run without an attacking return since his debut season at Anfield, while Mohamed Salah – who is still the division’s top goalscorer, lest we forget – hasn’t found the net on Merseyside since Gameweek 13.


Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Henderson, Robertson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Manchester City XI: Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Sterling, Foden.

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2,350 Comments Post a Comment
  1. gooberman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 9 hours ago

    City romping the league and doing it without KDB and Aguero. Just shows how poor the standard has been this season.

    1. Bushwhacker
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      And how good their squad is.

    2. Collie01
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Pep deserves great credit. He has finally put together a very solid defence.

      1. Red Devil Swede
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        And it took some doing, did it not..

    3. djoker_nole
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        not a very good take

    4. Sir Alex Telles.
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Knew I shouldn't have benched Chilly.

    5. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Azpi the Chelsea defender you need!

      1. MessiGOAT
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Thanks waiting for forever for this statement after Alonso bench ... Probably Rudiger will just do fine anyway

    6. Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Alonso punters in shambles.

      1. Miguel Sanchez
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        They were warned

        1. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          They were, plenty of Chelsea fans mentioned the likelihood of rotation. Very obvious, zero hindsight.

          1. Lazaretti
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            But not much rotation. Mount, Rudiger, Jorginho seems to be nailed

      2. Cilly Bonnolly
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Would have been surprising if he’d played three games in a week after not having played since September.

      3. All Hail K
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Almost did that but was warned. A shout out to the folks on this site that warned us that Tuchel liked to tinker.

    7. SADIO SANÉ
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      which one of Raz, Gundog or Foden am I TC'ing next week?

      1. thegaffer82
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        You have all 3? No DFer?

        Gundo (c)

        1. SADIO SANÉ
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          yeah, benched Foden this week though so 🙁

      2. Jet5605
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Knowing Pep he'll probably bench Foden for one.

    8. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Ffs my differential Alonso benched

    9. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Alonso trap catch many?

      1. ChickenTikkaMoSalah
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Yep 🙁

      2. DAZZ
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        irbox lol

      3. Sun Jihai
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        114,305 players

      4. Party time
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Irbox found inside the trap

    10. jason_ni
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Had awb 4 pointer if chillwell no shows.. Guess I should be happy he starts?!

      1. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Points aside, more exciting prospect to watch Sunday's football 😉

        1. jason_ni
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          Very true!

      2. ALI_G
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        if you aren't confident of Chillwell 6+ points vs SHU you shouldn't have him in your squad

    11. Jet5605
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Klopp said he was the Normal one. Looks like he was being generous.

      1. mynameisq
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        You've waited a long time to say that one haven't you

    12. Do I Not Like Orange
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Yes, kept & started Chilwell for exactly this reason. Bit of consolation after benching Gundo.

    13. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Chilwell starts.

    14. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 9 hours ago

      Soucek's zero. Salah on bench. Antonio C fail. Double City defense fail. Still 27K rank jump. What is this GW?

      1. gogs67
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          I benched Salah as well as captaining Antonio, 20% rise as we speak!!
          Out the Cup though, opponent had Son (c)

      2. Sun Jihai
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        McBurnie starts - fantastic news for Chelsea defence owners!

      3. Naby K8a
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        They need me back. Last start we won 7 nil

      4. KAPTAIN KANE
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        On a massive downward spiral these past couple of weeks, no idea what to do either.
        Hoping Soucek to Gundogan helps with it this week

        1. Rolls-Royce
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          Same mate same. Everything has gone wrong after the GW20

          1. KAPTAIN KANE
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            It’s annoying because I feel like my team is in great shape too, I might be about to blow a 150-160 mini league lead too, they only have a few differentials but they keep bloody hauling!

      5. I am become Marvin
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Liverpool need to shake the squad up with a big signing this summer I think.

        1. Bushwhacker
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          No that’s not what we need ; we need a bench with the depth of City. Our first team can beat anyone, where City have been smart is spending $30-50m or so on quality they can rely on.

          1. Bushwhacker
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            On the bench.

      6. Salan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Chilwell OOP

      7. squ1rrel
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Benched Watkins and Gundo because I'm an idiot

        1. svasei - Up (?) the Rovers
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          For who??

          1. squ1rrel
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            let's not talk about it

        2. The Tinkerman
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          Ouch

      8. Super Saints
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Let's be honest if Pickford was in goal for Liverpool it would be 1-1

        1. Bushwhacker
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          Yup

      9. Bushwhacker
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 9 hours ago

        Apparently Klopp’s fault for Alison giving City two goals. Interesting.

        1. ivantys
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Yeah funny there are even comments about Klopp now

        2. Jones Town
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          So I've got Sterling and Dias... there's probably no point switching Sterling for a different City mid right? Just add Gundo or Foden for next week?

          1. Sid1891
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Definitely

            1. Jones Town
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 9 hours ago

              Ta

          2. thegaffer82
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Add Gundo

        3. pundit of punts
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 9 hours ago

          Bielsa needs to give Bamford a rest

          He’s been playing non stop

          1. g40steve
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Too right Foden first on my bench

          2. thegaffer82
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            That would be awesome (DCL first on bench)

          3. Herman Toothrot
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Bamford and Ayling need a rest.

            DCL and Targett on my bench.

            Heck, call the game off

          4. Utopsis
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Hahaha THIS

        4. GROBARI
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Is it smart to bring back Kane for next GW or to stay with DCL Bamford and Antonio?

          • Flair
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Foden punters well rewarded

          • gooberman
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Liverpool go 69 home league games unbeaten and then lose 3 in a row. Just mental.

          • g40steve
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            Foden man of the match 🙂

            DGW

            Foden, Gundo, Dias??

            1. TheDragon
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 9 hours ago

              Gundo, Dias and then take your pick from Foden, Cancelo, Sterling

            2. Isco Disco
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 9 hours ago

              Gundo Dias Stones
              All 3 nailed

          • TheDragon
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 9 hours ago

            So turns out Gundogan was / is not a trap and is in fact the best value player in the game currently

            1. Shatner's Bassoon
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 9 hours ago

              Reckon if he was more expensive he'd be taken more seriously

            2. gogs67
                3 months, 9 hours ago

                I think most of us that had him as he racked the points up every week knew that lol

            3. Milkman Bruno
                3 months, 9 hours ago

                Foden has been a breath of fresh air

              • svasei - Up (?) the Rovers
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 9 hours ago

                Lol at Alonso owners.

              • Jet5605
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 9 hours ago

                Who would have thought that Gundo is a serious TC contender.