Jurgen Klopp faces Dejan Lovren’s conundrum as Liverpool ponders midfielder reshuffle


Liverpool is the Premier League title winner – and now begins the victory lap.The Reds secured the title with seven games remaining when their 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday was followed 24 hours later by closest rival Manchester City, who lost to Chelsea.

The new champions will face fallen players at the Etihad on Thursday evening, the first in an eventful six-game series in 17 days.

Jurgen Klopp will now examine his options after naming his strongest team possible against Palace last week.

And here we’re looking at the changes the Reds boss could make when his team is next in action.

Glue or turn your back?

Two successive white sheets since the resumption of the season – with seven different players starting on defense – indicate that solidity is not a problem at the back.

And with James Milner and Joel Matip – whose right foot is in a protective boot – once again almost certain to be sidelined, Klopp’s options are limited.

One choice available, however, is to bring Dejan Lovren to the rear center. After all, the Croatian has started six of the last seven games against City.

Neco Williams made his Premier League debut on the bench midweek, but this match is unlikely to be his first high-flying start.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hopes more involvement against Manchester City Thursday

Hungry like an ox

Klopp went with the tried and trusted against Palace in the engine room, with skipper Jordan Henderson joined by Fabinho and Gini Wijnaldum.

This means that Naby Keita fell on the bench despite a good performance at Everton.

The Guinean will be a real option, as will Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has failed to start one of the two games since the start of the season.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Curtis Jones are both back and available after an injury – Jones among the substitutes last Wednesday – but it might be a bit early for both.

Ready for Minamino

The first three regulars were brought together with a devastating effect against Palace, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both scoring.

Klopp has alternatives, with Takumi Minamino featured in the past two games and Divock Origi keen to contribute.

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However, the duo may have a greater opportunity to start at home at Aston Villa on Sunday.

Harvey Elliott, meanwhile, would appreciate another outing from the bench against such elated opposition.


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