Liverpool will look to bounce back when club football resumes after the international break, and have the perfect opportunity to put aside the awful result against Aston Villa when they face Everton in the Merseyside derby next Saturday.
The Reds were pretty smart in signing players in the transfer window, and in Thiago Alcantara, they added a world-class player to potentially help them in their bid to retain the league title.
Like most of the managers this season, Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp has not been able to select his best XI owing to injuries and the pandemic. The Reds were handed a blow as Thiago and Sadio Mane tested positive for Coronavirus and were unavailable for a couple of games prior to the international break, but they are expected to return.
Naby Keita is another who picked up the virus, and will be unavailable for a couple of weeks at least. But does he make the strongest possible Liverpool lineup? Here’s a look.
Strongest possible Liverpool Lineup this season
Adrian’s disappointing performances have resulted in talks of the Reds being linked with a new ‘keeper before the domestic transfer window closes on October 16, but when Alisson is fit, he is perhaps the best in the Premier League. The Liverpool fans and the manager will have to wait a few weeks for Alisson to return.
The trio of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, and Virgil van Dijk are automatic selections, but the fourth position in the back four is up for debate. While Joe Gomez on his day is a top centre-back, he isn’t as consistent as Joel Matip. Unfortunately, Matip has been too injury-prone, and just when he looks like he could forge an unbreakable partnership with van Dijk, injuries strike.
Matip, when fit, should start alongside van Dijk because of his passing and ability to bring the ball out from the back. Gomez is still only 23, and will improve with time.
The midfield is an area that could change depending on the opposition. Keita’s impact against teams who sit deep is invaluable, when Thiago is fit, he should start. The Spaniard’s ability to quicken the build-up play and his quality to control the tempo of the game will be crucial for Liverpool this season.
With someone like Fabinho, Thiago can even play in a slightly more attacking role or a box to box role. And Jordan Henderson, well, his tenacity and ability to keep the morale of the team high has always been key traits, but his composure is something that was rarely talked about last season.
The skipper is also a man to grind out results when things aren’t going your way.
Salah, Firmino, Mane. Do we even need to say why? Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri will provide good depth this season. The latter will hope to remain fit, unlike last season.