Jurgen Klopp’s men conquered the group stage of the Champions League, ending it with a resounding 7-0 victory at home against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday. They will be in high spirits and will look to continue their run in the domestic league but they will face a tricky test this weekend, when they welcome their local rivals Everton, in one of the most awaited games in the competition.
Tempers are usually high when Everton take on Liverpool and with the Toffees gathering some momentum recently, they are sure to stretch the hosts for all three points. But Liverpool have been in devastating form and have every chance of handing Everton a footballing lesson this weekend. Here is the predicted lineup Klopp might field for this tie:
Defenders Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne remain long-term absentees for Klopp ahead of this tie. Midfielder Adam Lallana continues to build his fitness while full-back Alberto Moreno, who picked up an injury in the last game, is expected to miss this game.
Expected lineup (4-3-3):
Though Loris Karius has been effective, Klopp has stuck with Simon Mignolet in goal for the domestic league and the Belgian should start this game under the bar. With Joel Matip out, Klopp has little choice but to continue with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan as his CB pairing for this game.
Alberto Moreno was the first choice LB for Klopp but he is out injured and this might see Andrew Robertson, who got a rare start in the game against Brighton, keep his place in the side, ahead of James Milner, who incidentally has more assists than any other player in the UCL this season.
Joe Gomez deserves to be rested, especially with a game against West Brom looming large, just three days later. Trent Alexandre-Arnold, who got a small outing in the mid-week, should start at right-back.
The manager revealed that skipper Jordan Henderson, who was an unused substitute against Spartak, will definitely start this game. He should play as the deepest of the midfielders, alongside Dutch international Georginio Wijnaldum, who put in a solid shift in the mid-week.
Philippe Coutinho, who scored a hat-trick and sported the arm-band in that game, should complete the midfield trio for Liverpool.
Though the game against West Brom will play its role in Klopp’s selection, this game against Everton is a must-win, in every way possible, and the manager cannot afford to rest any of his top players.
So the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, who are currently in exhilarating form, should keep their places in attack, giving Everton fans some nightmares before the game.
Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, James Milner, Daniel Sturridge and Oxlade Chamberlain may all find a place on the bench.
Here is how they might line up: