Confirmed Liverpool team vs Arsenal: 3 changes as Roberto Firmino starts

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Brendan Rodgers has made three changes to his lineup as Liverpool take on Arsenal on Monday night, with Roberto Firmino in line for his full debut.

SWINDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 2, 2015: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino apologises for not passing during a friendly match against Swindon at the County Ground. (Pic by Mark Hawkins/Propaganda)

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Brendan Rodgers has named £29 million summer signing Roberto Firmino in his starting lineup for the first time this season, as one of three changes for Liverpool’s clash with Arsenal.

Firmino is joined by midfielders Emre Can and Lucas Leiva in making his first start of 2015/16.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are without centre-back duo Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.

Though Rodgers suggested he would name an unchanged side for the Reds’ trip to north London, injury to Jordan Henderson has prompted a change in personnel.

Firmino takes Jordon Ibe’s place in attack, while Can and Lucas come in for Henderson and Adam Lallana, who is nursing a reported leg muscle injury.

Elsewhere, Rodgers has kept his faith in the back four that have so far contributed two clean sheets from two games, with full-backs Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez flanking preferred centre-back pairing Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren.

Mamadou Sakho is named among the subs for the first time this season, and is joined by young midfielder Jordan Rossiter. Danny Ings is still looking for his Reds’ debut.

James Milner will wear the captain’s armband in Henderson’s absence.

Before the Reds’ visit to the Emirates Stadium, Firmino told reporters that he was “working hard” to earn his first competitive start in a Liverpool shirt.

“That is my aim but there’s a healthy competition in the squad right now and the manager knows who should be starting games,” he said.

“So all I can do is keep on working so I will be ready when I am given the chance to start.”

With tonight representing an important fixture in the race for the Premier League‘s top four, Firmino will shoulder the hopes of an expectant support.

Liverpool XI vs. Arsenal: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Gomez, Milner, Can, Lucas, Firmino, Coutinho, Benteke.

Substitutes: Bogdan, Sakho, Moreno, Origi, Ings, Ibe, Rossiter

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Chambers, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey; Ozil, Sanchez, Cazorla, Giroud.

Substitutes: Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Flamini, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arteta, Walcott.

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