Firmino to return, Sturridge to start – Predicting the Liverpool lineup vs. Newcastle

5 December 2015

Liverpool lock horns with struggling Newcastle on Sunday afternoon, and we take a look at how Jurgen Klopp could line his side up for the clash.


MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 21, 2015: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates the Manchester City own goal scored by Mangala during the Premier League match against Liverpool at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s in-form Reds go in search of extending their winning run to five games at St. James’ Park against Steve McClaren’s Magpies.

Victory on Sunday could close the gap on the top-four places once again, as Liverpool look to continue their positive progress in pursuit of Champions League qualification.

Despite claiming he could name an unchanged team, Klopp is set to freshen up his side and go full-strength again.

With the chance to rest players in the dead-rubber clash with FC Sion in midweek, the Reds can seek to ensure that the momentum established so far is built upon once more in the north east.

 

Team News


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  • Philippe Coutinho likely to miss out with persistent hamstring complaint
  • Kolo Toure ruled out after picking up knee injury
  • Emre Can suspended for St. James’ Park trip
  • Klopp mulling over handing Daniel Sturridge second consecutive start
  • Match likely to come too early for Jordan Henderson to play from start
  • Simon Mignolet to take back over from Adam Bogdan in goal
  • Nathaniel Clyne set for recall after midweek rest
  • Joe Allen could keep midfield place after impressing against Southampton
  • Roberto Firmino in line to return to starting XI
  • Jordon Ibe pushing for start after superb cameo display in midweek
  • Christian Benteke hoping to resume attacking duties

 

Liverpool’s XI

Despite watching a much-changed side romp to League Cup victory against Southampton, Klopp is set to make changes on Sunday.

Bringing Mignolet and Clyne back will be two of those, while Allen should remain in the starting team in place of the banned Emre Can, to join Lucas and James Milner in midfield.

With Coutinho set to miss out, Adam Lallana, Firmino, and the fit-and-firing Sturridge should form a mobile and explosive front three, leaving Benteke in reserve.

Those changes to the starting team in the 4-3-2-1 formation would see Liverpool line up like this on Sunday afternoon:

Newcastle 4-3-2-1

Having more options at his disposal now than ever before could see Klopp opt for something slightly different, however.

A change of shape to 4-2-3-1 could be tempting for the German, with Lucas and Milner able to make the midfield partnership – just as Can and the vice-captain did last weekend against Swansea – dropping Allen, and allowing for another offensive option to attack a suspect Newcastle defence.

Ibe could come in on the right side of the attacking unit alongside Firmino and Lallana, and should Klopp decide a second successive start for Sturridge is too much too early, Benteke could play from the beginning.

With those alterations and the change of shape, the Reds could look like this come 4pm kick-off time Sunday:

Newcastle 4-2-3-1

Liverpool have a huge chance to continue their excellent performances and form to make it five straight wins, as the fight for a Champions League place looks an increasingly realistic proposition.

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