Predicted Liverpool lineup against Manchester City: Salah, Mane return; Jota to be assessed

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are set to return to the starting XI when Liverpool lock horns with Manchester City at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Liverpool will be aiming to book a place in the finals of the 2021/22 FA Cup when they face off against arch-rivals Manchester City in the penultimate stage of the competition at Wembley on Saturday.

Heading up into this vital encounter, Jurgen Klopp has a near fully-fit squad at his disposal, with the only doubt being over the involvement of Diogo Jota. The Portuguese picked up a knock in the midweek clash against Benfica, although the Liverpool boss expects the forward to be available for selection.

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“I said last night that Diogo got a knock – that swelled up slightly directly after the game, obviously while I was in the press conference. Diogo, good chance he will be alright but we need to have a closer look tomorrow. That’s it,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference.

Klopp opted to rotate his troops quite a fair bit against Benfica and will recall all his regulars to the lineup when Liverpool take the field against Manchester City. There will be wholesale changes in defence, barring Joel Matip, who should hold on to his place in the side. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson ought to return to complete the Reds’ backline that will shield Alisson Becker.

There are alterations expected in the middle of the park, with Fabinho set to return to the lineup at the base of the midfield unit. He will be flanked on either side by Thiago Alcantara and captain Jordan Henderson, meaning there will be no space in the starting XI for Naby Keita.

As for the attacking unit, Jota’s situation, coupled with Roberto Firmino’s brace in midweek, should guarantee the Brazilian a starting berth at Wembley against Manchester City.

There will be changes on either side of Firmino, though, with the Liverpool forward likely to be paired up with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, both of whom were rested against Benfica by Klopp. Luis Diaz will drop out to the bench, with Jota also likely to be among the substitutes, should he be passed fit for the contest.

Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Mane.

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