Straight to a predicted line-up, subs and outcome…
Back in net and replacing unlikely - but absolute - weekend hero Willy, is England’s number 1, Joe.
Had this been a home game against a struggling outfit just 3 days after a full 90, 30-minutes of extra time, penalties and travelling from London then I might have suggested that our manager may go with Eliaquim & Martin as a centre-two, back pairing. But it’s not…it’s away at Liverpool and, so, I think Vinny & Nicholas will have to ‘go again’. Either side of them, however, it's likely to be a rotation that’ll see Aleks & Pablo step in for some fresh legs at the back.
I hope our Brazilian midfield pair are able to shrug off any aches & pains they might have following the late weekend show…because there’s little choice otherwise! So in a predicted 4-4-1-1, they’ll probably be our ‘workhorse engine room’; with Raheem being booed on the left and the fresh legs of Navas on the right.
Both the wide men and the next man further up the field, Kelechi, might have to ‘tuck in’ / ‘dip back’ every so often to help out our 2-man midfield from time to time; ahead of the lot is likely to be the recovered / rested Wilfried.
A very strong bench that includes ‘Wembley Willy’, the French pair of Gael & Bacary who get a bit of a rest on the side (until / unless called on), Eliaquim & Martin to possibly relieve Vinny & Nicholas at some stage (Martin also as possible defensive midfield insurance) and possible ‘bench spots’ for David & Sergio; just to make sure we’re not going to push two such-valuable players too hard (and ready to, therefore, hopefully destroy Villa at home on Saturday).
Notable absences: Kevin De Bruyne (injured / possible return date in the Premier League on either 2nd or 9th April), Fabian Delph (injured), Samir Nasri (injured / possible return date in the Premier League on either 2nd or 9th April) and Yaya Toure (possible doubt / slight knock).
Do I agree with Pellegrini’s (predicted) line-up?
Considering the limitations in terms of players who might need to be rested on top of the unavailable midfield quartet listed above; I see very little choice in some ways and so couldn’t argue with that line-up should it be the case.
Result? Do you know what…I’m very tempted to nail my colours to a fabulous away win tonight; I think that team with that bench – and with the moral boost from the weekend – can be enough to overcome Liverpool for a second time in 3 days.