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Man City’s Sterling dropped on Anfield return

Raheem Sterling was the surprise omission from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side to face Liverpool in the first leg of their blockbuster Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.

Raheem Sterling

Sterling took his tally for the season to 21 goals as City swept aside Everton 3-1 at the weekend to move to within one win of sealing the Premier League title.

But on his return to Anfield, the former Liverpool winger was left on the bench by Guardiola in favour of an extra central midfielder in Ilkay Gundogan.

Aymeric Laporte continues at City’s problem position at left-back, while Gabriel Jesus starts up front in the absence of top scorer Sergio Aguero through injury.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s team selection was made simpler by the absence of Joel Matip, Adam Lallana and Emre Can through injury.

Dejan Lovren partners Virgil van Dijk in central defence and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Georginio Wijnaldum in the only two changes to Klopp’s side that started Saturday’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Klopp’s fearsome front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane — who have combined for 75 goals this season — all start up front.

Liverpool (4-3-3):

Loris Karius; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; James Milner, Jordan Henderson (capt), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Coach: Jurgen Klopp (GER)

Manchester City (4-3-3)

Ederson; Kyle Walker, Vincent Kompany (capt), Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte; Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan; David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane

Coach: Pep Guardiola (ESP)

Referee: Felix Brych (GER)


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