Liverpool reflect on Naby Keita role as Jurgen Klopp faces Diogo Jota conundrum – .

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Liverpool reflect on Naby Keita role as Jurgen Klopp faces Diogo Jota conundrum – .


Not long now, guys. Another 12 days and the real things will start again for Liverpool.
The Reds begin their bid to reclaim the Premier League title when they make the long trip to Norwich City on Saturday week.

As for the omens, it’s not a bad thing that the last time Liverpool faced the Canaries on the opening weekend they won the club’s first league in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have traveled to Evian for the final leg of their pre-season training camp which ends with two 60-minute friendlies against Bologna on Thursday.

And while there is still Anfield’s double header against Athletic Bilbao and, the next day, Osasuna to come, some clues have already emerged as to who Klopp could turn to Carrow Road.

Everything changes at the central rear

Undisputed number one Alisson Becker is set to line up ahead of Caoimhin Kelleher, even though he only joined the squad this weekend.

But while Trent Alexander-Arnold is a certainty at the right-back that he has regained his physical form following the thigh injury that forced him to miss Euro 2020, things are not so simple elsewhere in defense. .

Kostas Tsimikas has shown encouraging signs at left-back in recent friendlies although Andy Robertson, despite his late return to training, is the most likely starter.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez remain weeks away from being serious contenders for a starting role having only made a welcome return to action on Thursday.

And it has become clear that signing Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip for £ 36million is the preferred center-back partnership ahead of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams.




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Headache in midfield

The open nature of Liverpool’s 4-3 friendly loss to Hertha Berlin last Thursday highlighted that, with Fabinho and Jordan Henderson unavailable and Gini Wijnaldum gone, there is a lack of cover in the defensive midfield.

James Milner can do a job, but he may be better suited alongside another deep midfielder rather than alone.

While Henderson is unlikely to start at Norwich – he won’t return to training until later this week – Fabinho, who was back on Sunday, could be pushed into relatively immediate action.

Who joins him in the engine room is a big call.

Naby Keita has shown some promising signs and, right now, might be in the dressing room. However, while Harvey Elliott also started in midfielder, it would be surprising if the 18-year-old made his Premier League debut in this role.

Instead, a lot could depend on Thiago Alcantara’s physical form and where Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain find themselves playing in recent friendlies.

What not Bobby?

In attack, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane demonstrated during the pre-season the advantage of a well-deserved summer break.

Roberto Firmino, however, was tough on Brazil and, like Alisson and Fabinho, won’t return to training until Monday.

Diogo Jota’s lively cameo against Hertha Berlin suggests he has no issues with sharpness, although Oxlade-Chamberlain notably started the last two warm-up games as number nine.

Scheduled lineup for Liverpool vs Norwich: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konaté, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Keita; Salah, Jota, Mané.

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