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    Man City predicted lineup vs Liverpool – Carabao Cup

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    Manchester City will return to action with a match against Liverpool in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

    He may not admit it but Pep Guardiola would have surely preferred an easier first game back after the World Cup, with many of his important players not available to him after competing in Qatar with their countries.

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    That being said, with Erling Haaland and Riyad Mahrez not qualifying with their nations and Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan returning early after group stage exits, Pep will still have some top players at his disposal.

    Here’s the somewhat makeshift XI City could deploy against Liverpool.

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    Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland
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    De Bruyne and Haaland are both available / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

    GK: Stefan Ortega – 30-year-old Ortega was excellent in the previous round of the cup against Chelsea and is all but certain to start again with Ederson yet to return to full training.

    RB: Rico Lewis – One of Man City’s most exciting young talents, Lewis has impressed when playing this season and should get another chance to do so against Liverpool.

    CB: Jadel Katongo – Man City are short of central defenders with all of their first-team options playing at the World Cup, and that could mean Katongo gets his first senior start.

    CB: Aymeric Laporte – Laporte should be fairly fresh having been knocked out of the World Cup with Spain in the round of 16, and given the lack of alternatives, might well be thrown straight back into the action by Guardiola.

    LB: Sergio Gomez – Gomez has been Guardiola’s first-choice left-back for cup games since joining in the summer.

    CM: Kevin de Bruyne – Belgium’s disastrous World Cup was good news for Man City with De Bruyne able to join their training camp in Spain and make himself available for the Liverpool game.

    DM: Ilkay Gundogan – Gundogan too was able to join his club in Spain after Germany were knocked out of the World Cup group stages. With Rodri only just returning to training, the 32-year-old will most likely slot in as his side’s holding midfielder.

    CM: Cole Palmer – Palmer is the current Man City youth player closest to becoming a first-team regular having started against Chelsea and Sevilla this season. He’ll get another chance to show what he can do with Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Jack Grealish unavailable.

    RW: Riyad Mahrez – Mahrez’s Algeria didn’t qualify for the World Cup so the winger is fully fit and ready.

    ST: Erling Haaland- As if he wasn’t scary enough already, Haaland got a month off while most of the Premier League’s top defenders tired themselves out in Qatar. Expect goals.

    LW: Morgan Rogers – Palmer will probably play here if Guardiola decides to rush Rodri back, but if not, he’ll have to give a youth player a chance, and Rogers was the one to start in the recent friendly against Girona.

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