After ending Manchester City’s unbeaten run in the last game week, Liverpool return to Premier League action tonight as they travel to Wales to take on struggling Swansea City. Though results and performances have improved under new manager Carlos Carvalhal, they are still rooted to the bottom of the table and are three points behind West Brom who are second from bottom.
Liverpool put five past Swansea when the two sides last met but haven’t necessarily dominated the Swans in their last few meetings. Swansea have picked up two wins in their last four games against the Reds, so the game could be a competitive one, especially considering Carvalhal’s side haven’t lost in their last three games.
Liverpool made quite a big statement in the early days of January by signing Virgil van Dijk and though they sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, the mood at Anfield is still pretty optimistic. Their record signing could return for the trip to Swansea. Mohamed Salah was a slight doubt a few days ago due to illness but he is expected to feature.
For Swansea, Tammy Abraham is unlikely to feature, so Wilfried Bony could continue up front. Renato Sanches and Mike van der Hoorn are back from injuries.
Jürgen Klopp’s rotation policy has served Liverpool well as they have successfully negotiated an avalanche of games without dropping their performance levels, which shows how deep their squad is. The likes of Ragnar Klavan, James Milner and Trent-Alexander Arnold have done well when they’ve been given the chance.
Against Swansea, we could see a couple of changes at the back. Alexander-Arnold and van Dijk could return in place of Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren. Though Alberto Moreno is back in training, we could see Andy Robertson keep his place after a stunning display against Manchester City. Adam Lallana could take Gini Wijnaldum’s place in the midfield trio alongside Emre Can and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
As for Swansea City, the return of Sanches will add more depth, but it’s unlikely we’ll see any one of them playing. Sanches hasn’t had a good spell at the club and against a team like Liverpool who press high up front, playing someone like Mesa who is more composed on the ball makes more sense.
Probable Liverpool XI: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Can, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mane, Firmino, Salah
Probable Swansea XI: Fabianski; Olsson, Mawson, Bartley, van der Hoorn; Ki, Mesa, Carroll, Narsingh, Ayew; Bony