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Firmino, 30, started the current Premier League season in fine form and has scored six times and registered an assist in eight appearances across all competitions.
Diogo Jota’s £41m arrival from Wolves in 2020 has provided Firmino with extra competition for a place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI.
But Firmino, who is often criticised for his lack of goalscoring contribution, has rewarded Klopp’s faith in him this season.
Neville and fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher named their Manchester United and Liverpool combined XIs on Monday Night Football earlier this week.
And Liverpool legend Carragher opted to leave Firmino out of his team, with Mason Greenwood leading the frontline and Bruno Fernandes deployed as a No 10.
However, Neville picked Firmino in place of Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo up front instead of Greenwood.
The United legend insisted that he refused to “disrespect” Firmino and the Brazilian forward “does the donkey work when the team needs it.”
Neville explained: “That was the most difficult one to decide on, but I refuse to disrespect Firmino for what he’s done over the past four or five years.
“That front three have been out of this world and he always seems to be the one that gets pushed away.
“The work both in possession and out of possession he does on behalf of the team is unbelievable.
“He gets respected, of course he does, but I don’t feel he gets the full respect he deserves in the way that he dovetails with midfield, with the two wide players and how he fills back in big games and drops onto sitting midfielders for opposition.
“He does the donkey work when the team needs it, so for me he’s the type of player that needs to be in the team if you’ve got Ronaldo up front as he’s the workhorse in behind who would connect the midfield to the front really well.”
United will host Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, with kick-off scheduled for 4pm UK time.
Featured Image Credit: PA/Sky Sports
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