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Michael Owen says Roberto Firmino must start Liverpool’s crunch game against Man City on Sunday

Michael Owen has praised Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino and said he needs to start in Sunday’s game against Manchester City.

The Brazilian has scored eight goals in 12 appearances for the Reds so far this season and struck twice again on Tuesday night as Liverpool beat Rangers 7-1 in the Champions League.

Former Liverpool striker Owen believes the 31-year-old will need to start given his current form when Man City visit Anfield this weekend.

Following Rangers’ win at BT Sport, Owen said: “I can’t imagine him not playing.

He’s had such a good season and is in such good form that I don’t think Jürgen Klopp can miss him at the weekend.

Firmino’s performance was also praised by fellow player Ally McCoist, who highlighted the forward’s intelligence and marveled at how Liverpool paced the aisles in the second half against his former club.

“I found Firmino’s game intelligence to be absolutely on a different level. said McCoist. “I thought he was outstanding tonight.

“Liverpool have taken it to another level. They didn’t just shift up a gear, they shifted up two or three gears and in the second half it was a mismatch.

Rangers took the lead at Ibrox when Scott Arfield opened the scoring after seventeen minutes. However, it was man of the match Firmino who equalized at half-time before the Merseysiders rioted in the second half.

Firmino added his second goal ten minutes after the restart before Darwin Nunez put the game out of reach for the Scots. Mohamed Salah then came off the bench for an incredible six-minute hat-trick and the goal was completed by Harvey Elliott with three minutes remaining.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are now turning their attention back to Premier League duty and City’s visit as last season’s top two met for the first time in the league this season.

However, Liverpool’s stuttering start to the season means they are already thirteen points adrift of the current champions, having played a game fewer than Pep Guardiola’s men.

Any hope of a title challenge can rest on Sunday’s result, making the potential inclusion of the in-form Firmino all the more important.

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