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David James leave out Salah and Alexander-Arnold from his combined Liverpool v Man City XI

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David James has made some controversial calls in a combined XI ahead of the biggest Premier League game of the season.

Liverpool travel to the Etihad Stadium to face league leaders Manchester City in what could prove to be the title decider.

Just one point separates the sides ahead of Sunday’s clash and James, who played for both sides during his playing career, has revealed who he would choose in a combined squad. 

Mohamed Salah has been left out of David James' combined Liverpool v Manchester City XI

Mohamed Salah has been left out of David James’ combined Liverpool v Manchester City XI

James played for both Liverpool and Manchester City during his playing career

James played for both Liverpool and Manchester City during his playing career

In his selection, he told Genting Casino that he would opt not to include star Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold. 

Revealing his team, James said: ‘I’ve put Alisson above Ederson based on the fact that Alisson has had more to do. If you take into consideration how important Alisson has been in keeping clean sheets and stopping in the last few months.

‘I think in the last few games Ederson’s kicked the ball over the halfway line twice.

‘I’d have Robertson at left-back over Joao Cancelo as he doesn’t shoot as much and therefore doesn’t give the ball away as much.

‘I’d have Luis Diaz and Virgil van Dijk. I’d go Kyle Walker and the reason being is that there’s going to be a lot of space and he’ll need to get back and defend.

‘I love Trent Alexander-Arnold going forward and he’s a decent defender, but I’d just edge Walker over him.

Salah has been left out despite providing 38 goal contributions in all competitions this season

Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been left out despite his impressive displays at right-back

Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been left out despite his impressive displays at right-back

The Liverpool right-back was left out for the experienced and speedy defender Kyle Walker

The Liverpool right-back was left out for the experienced and speedy defender Kyle Walker

‘I’ll go with all of the City midfield, so Rodri, KDB (Kevin De Bruyne) and Bernardo Silva in midfield.

‘I’d go Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Luis Diaz up front, so no Mo Salah.

‘But if you ask me again in half an hour, I’d probably say a completely different team!’

In total, James chose just four Liverpool players for the squad compared to Man City’s seven – with five of the front six positions.

Salah has enjoyed a fantastic season in which has led some to call him the best player in world football.

The 29-year-old has scored 28 goals in all competitions this campaign and provided a further ten assists. 

Former goalkeeper James opted to choose Alisson over his international team-mate Ederson

Former goalkeeper James opted to choose Alisson over his international team-mate Ederson

Joao Cancelo was also left out of the combined XI in favour of Liverpool's Andrew Robertson

Joao Cancelo was also left out of the combined XI in favour of Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson

However, he has recently been in a rough patch of form and has not scored a goal in open play since the 3-1 victory over Norwich in February.

Alexander-Arnold has also enjoyed a fantastic season in which he has produced a stunning 17 assists in all competitions. 

James however did opt for Diaz who has made a massive impression since his arrival from Porto during the January transfer window. 

Cancelo and Ederson were the big name players to miss out on the selection from Manchester City, with Robertson and Alisson respectively chosen ahead of them. 

During his playing career, James played for Liverpool from 1992 to 1999 making 214 appearances, before playing 100 games for Man City from 2004 to 2006.

Although many perceive that this game could prove to be the title decider, James feels that with a further seven matches for each side after this, that it’s too early to call.

Though he did say: ‘I think it depends who wins. On a simple basis that if Liverpool win, it’s difficult to see them losing the title.

‘We always have to use the past as an indicator. If you look at them a couple years ago, they were on a 18-game winning streak, they’re capable of going all the way until the end of the season and winning all their games.

Seven Manchester City players made the squad including Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne with the latter making up a midfield entirely made of City players

Seven Manchester City players made the squad including Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne with the latter making up a midfield entirely made of City players

Luis Diaz was the only Liverpool forward to make the squad after his impressive start at Anfield

Luis Diaz was the only Liverpool forward to make the squad after his impressive start at Anfield

Foden and Sterling get in over the likes of Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino

Foden and Sterling get in over the likes of Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino

‘I was at the Atletico Madrid game and I also went to two Chelsea matches this season, I know City are capable of suffocating teams and they could do it against Liverpool.’

Liverpool’s recent record at the Etihad is poor, having not won in the Premier League since 2015. 

Defeat there, the only one of the 2018/19 top-flight campaign, ultimately cost Jurgen Klopp’s men the title as they lost the title by one point.

Manchester City are still in with a chance of winning the treble, while Liverpool are on for the quadruple after beating Chelsea in the final of the Carabao Cup.

The sides will clash off again on April 16 at Wembley when they meet in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Both sides could also meet in the Champions League final which will be held at the Stade de France on May 28 in Paris. 

James doesn't believe Sunday's clash will decide the title even if it will have a massive say on whether the Premier League trophy goes to the Etihad or returns to Anfield after a year away

James doesn’t believe Sunday’s clash will decide the title even if it will have a massive say on whether the Premier League trophy goes to the Etihad or returns to Anfield after a year away

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