Fowler and Hamann start: An XI of PL stars who have represented Liverpool and Man City
COMMENT By Will Butcher
A handful of players have made the switch from Liverpool to the blue half of Manchester in recent years, with many Manchester City stars going the opposite way too.
The likes of Daniel Sturridge and James Milner proved successes, while Raheem Sterling’s £45million move to City in the summer of 2015 is beginning to look like value for money.
Although the two sides have shared more attacking players than defenders, a side consisting of players to have played for both sides would match most Premier League teams in their hay day.
With the two Premier League title-chasing sides set to go head to head on New Year’s Day, here is a team of players to have plied their trade for both Manchester City and Liverpool.
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Ex-England international David James made 280 appearances for the Merseyside giants after a nine-year stint at Anfield, before leaving to join Aston Villa before joining City in 2004.
With little to choose from at the back, three versatile midfielders are drafted in to form a four-man defence. Reds vice captain Milner’s versatility would see him line up at right-back after moving to Anfield on a free in 2005, while Spaniard Albert Riera was known for his ability to fill in on the left side of defence despite unimpressive spells at both City and Liverpool.
Dietmar Hamann would be forced to drop from his normal holding midfield role to partner Premier League stalwart Kolo Toure, who is now with Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic after a glittering career that saw him win the 2011-12 Premier League campaign with City.
A three-man midfield would comprise of plenty of attacking pedigree. Steve McManaman played for Real Madrid in between spells at Liverpool and City, after coming through the academy at Anfield in 1990. He would move into the middle of midfield alongside Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough, who made exactly 39 league appearances for both sides.
City ace Sterling would start in his natural role as a number 10, despite being pushed out wide by both clubs and even England. Likely to feature for Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday, Sterling could prove crucial.
Robbie Fowler, Mario Balotelli and Daniel Sturridge would form a lethal front three that even the best defences would struggle to cope with. Fowler, who finished his career in Australia, also played for Leeds United and Cardiff after two spells with the Reds. The 41-year-old scored 171 goals for Liverpool and is held in high regard in Merseyside.
A disappointing spell at Anfield for Balotelli saw him leave in the summer to Ligue 1 outfit Nice, where he has hit the ground running. Winning the Premier League in the same season as Toure, Balotelli starts alongside Sturridge. The injury-prone forward is likely to go up against Sterling in the evening kick-off, and he forms the final part of a glittering front three.
In other Liverpool news, Jurgen Klopp has been handed this double injury boost by City.