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"I thought he might do" - Michael Owen explains why Liverpool forward may not be part of starting lineup against Manchester City

Michael Owen opens up on his theory regarding Liverpool's starting XI against Manchester City
Michael Owen opens up on his theory regarding Liverpool's starting XI against Manchester City
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Snehanjan Banerjee

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen has revealed his theory regarding the Reds' potential starting XI against Manchester City on Sunday.

The Reds will travel to the Etihad on Sunday April 10 to lock horns with Pep Guardiola's side in a titanic Premier League clash. The result of the game could very well determine the outcome of the neck-to-neck title race, with the Reds currently just one point behind City.

Liverpool have taken a step towards the the Champions League semi-final with a 3-1 win against Portuguese giants Benfica in the first leg of the quarter-finals.

First-half goals from Ibrahima Konate and Sadio Mane gave the Reds a solid platform but the Eagles fought hard in the second half. Darwin Nunez scored a crucial goal for the Portuguese side but Luis Diaz's late strike meant Klopp's side hold a solid advantage ahead of the second leg.

However, Michael Owen has insisted that the Colombian might not get a starting role for the Reds in their gangantuan clash against Manchester City on Sunday.

The 42-year-old has insisted that both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane coming off and Diogo Jota not starting could mean the trio could start against the Cityzens. Owen said in the BT Sport studio, as quoted by The Daily Star:

"Brilliant result and that goal from Diaz just to get that two-goal cushion there was huge. Absolutely huge. If it had been 2-1, those players trudging off the pitch would still be thinking ‘you know what, we’re still in it’, but that goal from Liverpool has been a dagger through Benfica’s heart."
"Liverpool, to be fair, played a solid game. The way Jurgen Klopp manages his substitutes suggests maybe not."

Owen believes that Diaz playing the full game against Benfica could mean that he won't feature in the starting XI on Sunday. The former Ballon d'Or winner added:

"Bringing Mo Salah and Sadio Mane off, you’d think Jota would have to play with how well he’s been playing lately and not starting today.
"Potentially not, but before the game I thought he might do. Based on that today, leaving him on for the full game, he might be thinking of the other three."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is doing really well to rotate his squad

The Reds have a daunting run of fixtures ahead of themselves and Klopp has shown that he is not afraid to rotate his key players to keep them fresh during this period.

Mane and Diaz did not start against Watford last week before the Senegalese international eventually came on in place of Salah.

Sadio Mane interrupted Luis Diaz's interview to show him some love ❤️ https://t.co/0W2o0S8t8X

The Manchester City game is arguably the most important and difficult game for the Reds and Klopp could opt to field a trio of Salah, Mane and Jota.

If Liverpool have to achieve a quadraple, each member of their squad will have to contribute and Klopp is seemingly looking to ensure just that.


Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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