So, Liverpool are Premier League champions. It feels a little weird to type that, but it’s been a long time coming.
Some even thought the title race was over in December after their 4-0 win against Leicester, and it would have been wrapped up sooner if not for the global pandemic.
After that wearisome Merseyside derby, Liverpool pulled their socks back up and jumped right back into their conventional groove. An emphatic 4-0 win over Crystal Palace pushed them to the finish line, before Manchester City’s loss at Stamford Bridge eventually helped them claim the gold.
Much to the delight of all Reds supporters, Liverpool travel to the Etihad Stadium next. What might be even more delightful, however, is that Pep Guardiola and his team will give Liverpool the guard of honour as they begrudgingly hand over the crown.
Liverpool can’t stop here though, and they won’t. There are still plenty of records to be broken and Jurgen Klopp shows no signs of slowing down.
Here’s the team he could field on Thursday.
Alisson Becker (GK) – No question here, really. The Brazil international has picked up 12 clean sheets in 22 Premier League appearances this season – only Burnley’s Nick Pope has more.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – The 21-year-old has popped up with 12 assists and three goals – including that incredible free kick against Palace – so far this season. Not bad for a full back, eh?
Virgil van Dijk (CB) – An ever-present at the heart of the defence in the Premier League this season, the 2018/19 PFA Player of the Year has again been influential in the title winning campaign.
Joe Gomez (CB) – With Joel Matip still out injured after picking up a knock in the Merseyside derby, 23-year-old Gomez will partner VVD. Gomez has won all but one of his 22 Premier League appearances this term, with Van Dijk proving to be a valuable mentor.
Andy Robertson (LB) – The 26-year-old completes a strong Liverpool back four. Robertson will have to deal with Raheem Sterling on Thursday night, but confidence is brimming. Expect an assist, too.
Fabinho (CM) – It would be a surprise if the Brazilian does not keep his place. His position in the engine room has been vital for the Reds this season, and he’ll be needed against a star-filled City side.
Jordan Henderson (CM) – Liverpool’s captain will lead the side out once again – this time to a guard of honour. One of the favourites for the PFA Player of the Year award.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – The Dutchman performed well against Palace last time out and will continue in the third central midfield role over Naby Keita. Still needs a new contract sorted out, with his deal set to expire in 2021.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – The Egyptian was left out of the team for the Merseyside derby but came back with a bang against Palace, notching a goal and an assist. With 17 goals for the season, he is only two behind Golden Boot leader Jamie Vardy.
Sadio Mane (LW) – The 28-year-old has been involved in 22 league goals this season, with only Salah boasting a better record among Liverpool’s forwards. Expect him to grab a goal or two on Thursday.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – Firmino’s goalscoring form has been hit and miss throughout the season, but it is hard to ignore his ability to bring players into play. His vision and tendency to drop deep may be the key to unlocking City’s defence.