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Shay Given snubs Alisson, names just 2 Liverpool players in bold combined XI with Newcastle ahead of Premier League clash

Newcastle United legend Shay Given has snubbed Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker, naming only Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk in his combined XI with the Magpies. The two sides will clash in the Premier League at St James’ Park on Sunday (February 19).The Reds have endured a woeful campaign, exiting the FA Cup and Carabao Cup early. They have also largely struggled in the league, sitting in ninth place, trailing fourth-placed Newcastle by nine points.


Given has said that only Salah and Van Dijk currently get in a combined XI made up of Liverpool and his former club’s players. The Irishman’s omission of Alisson is questionable, though. He told Leo Vegas:

“Alisson is a brilliant keeper, but Nick Pope gets the nod for all his clean sheets this season. I’d have (Kieran) Trippier at right-back, who’s having a great season. Virgil van Dijk and Sven Botman would be my centre-backs, with Dan Burn, on current form, at left-back.”

Alisson is regarded as one of Europe’s top goalkeepers. The Brazilian shot-stopper has featured 213 times, keeping 95 clean sheets, since arriving at Anfield. He has kept nine clean sheets in 29 games across competitions this season and sits joint-fifth with saves made in the Premier League (33).

However, Pope has been enjoying a stellar debut season at St James’ Park. The English goalkeeper has made 27 appearances, keeping 16 clean sheets. He holds an 82% save percentage, placing him second among keepers in the English top flight. Given continued by choosing his midfield and attack:

“Their (Liverpool’s) midfielders are all struggling currently, so I’d have Joelinton, Joe Willocknand Bruno Guimarães. At the other end of the pitch, I’d go with Mohamed Salah on the right side, Callum Wilson up top, and Anthony Gordon on the left.”

Mohamed Salah
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Reds fans will be relieved to see at least Salah and Van Dijk make the combined team.

The Egyptian forward has 18 goals and seven assists in 32 games during a difficult season for his side. Meanwhile, Van Dijk has endured an injury-riddled campaign, featuring 24 times, scoring twice and helping his side keep six clean sheets.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirms Van Dijk could start against Newcastle

Jurgen Klopp is set to start Virgil van Dijk against Newcastle.
Jurgen Klopp is set to start Virgil van Dijk against Newcastle.
Van Dijk hasn’t featured for Klopp’s side since early January after incurring a hamstring injury. His absence has been felt, with Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish fading.However, Klopp has hinted that the Dutchman could be in line to start against the Magpies this weekend. The German was asked whether the former Southampton defender could feature (via the Daily Mail) this weekend:
“I think so. Yesterday (in training), he looked absolutely ready.”
Van Dijk was an unused substitute in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside derby on Monday (February 13). The Anfield faithful will be enthused by the prospect of the Dutch centre-back getting back into the side.

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