Jurgen Klopp faces Fabinho decision as Liverpool consider forward overhaul


Liverpool extended their unbeaten run to eight games as they occupied the top of the Premier League with a win over Leicester City. An own goal from Jonny Evans was followed by strikes from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino as the Reds won an impressive 3-0 triumph at Anfield on Sunday.

The Premier League and the world champions are now looking to the Champions League where three points at home against Atalanta on Wednesday will secure a place in the knockout stage with two games to lose.

And here we turn to the changes Jurgen Klopp could make when his team are next in action.

Reverse rotation?

Liverpool aren’t exactly down to the bare minimum in defense, but the options have become limited.

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold are absent while Nat Phillips is not eligible for the Champions League.

With Joel Matip, James Milner and Fabinho unlikely to start three games in a week, Klopp faces tough choices.

One of the Matip or Fabinho will likely be transferred to the bench, meaning teenager Rhys Williams could make another Champions League start.

Andy Robertson needs to rest with Kostas Tsimikas waiting at left-back, while on the other flank Neco Williams impressed in half an hour against Leicester and could replace the evergreen Milner.

Same thing for the engine room

In midfield, it will all depend on whether Fabinho starts in defense – and whether Jordan Henderson or Thiago Alcantara are in good shape.

Both have struggled with injuries and it would come as a surprise if either were involved.

Milner could come and increase the engine room as he did when passing right-back after Naby Keita limped over the weekend.

But with Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri almost sure to miss out and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain not ready, Gini Wjnaldum and Curtis Jones will likely be asked to return after playing against Leicester.

Bad returns

Mohamed Salah’s availability means Liverpool’s top scorer is expected to return after contracting coronavirus.

Liverpool could cover up the lack of availability in midfield by moving to 4-2-3-1.

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However, Sadio Mane looked tired against Leicester and could be benched, while Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi patiently waited for another chance to start.

Minamino could replace Roberto Firmino, although Diogo Jota, the fit man, would surely want to keep his place.


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