Henderson to return, Sakho or Caulker in defence: Predicting Liverpool’s XI vs. Arsenal

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We take a look at how Jurgen Klopp could line up his Liverpool team on Wednesday night when Arsenal arrive at Anfield.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 5, 2016: Liverpool's Jordon Ibe celebrates scoring the first goal against Stoke City with team-mates during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match at the Britannia Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The depleted Reds take on Arsene Wenger’s title hopefuls in the first of vital back-to-back home games as Klopp’s side look to claw their way back into top four reckoning.

A brief period of rest since the FA Cup draw at Exeter has increased the chances of Klopp welcoming some important players back for the clash, but the German still looks set to deploy a far from first choice XI against the Gunners.

 

Team News

  • Klopp’s options boosted by potential returns
  • Captain Henderson in line to make comeback
  • Toure fit and set to start at centre-back
  • Ivorian could be partnered by emergency loan signing Caulker
  • Sakho also closing in on return and could feature
  • But Skrtel and Coutinho definitely ruled out
  • Origi set for a month side-lined after knee surgery
  • Lovren close to fitness but Arsenal to come too early for the Croatian
  • Ibe hopeful of shaking off injury to be involved in squad
  • Sheyi Ojo and Brad Smith in squad – could make bench
  • Mignolet to return in goal after FA Cup rest
  • Clyne and Moreno to resume full-back duties
  • Milner could make first start since injury
  • Lallana and Firmino to reconvene in attack after Exeter rest

 

Liverpool’s XI

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 18, 2015: Liverpool's Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st leg match against Besiktas JK at Melwood Training Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is set to recall first team picks who were rested against Exeter and could also welcome back some injury absentees, giving the German an improved but still far from full strength XI.

With Toure and Sakho fit, the duo are likely to form the centre-back partnership alongside Clyne and Moreno, allowing Lucas to play in his natural position behind Emre Can and the fit again Henderson in midfield.

Milner could make his first start after returning to fitness in the Reds attack alongside Lallana and Firmino, with the Brazilian leading the mobile front line.

Those changes to the side would see Liverpool line up like this against the Gunners:

Arsenal XI 1

However, with returning players sure to be lacking match sharpness, Klopp may decide against throwing Sakho and Henderson straight in.

Instead, loan signing Caulker could make his debut alongside Toure, with Lucas, Can and Milner forming a midfield trio, and Lallana and Firmino operating in support of Benteke.

Those alterations could see Klopp’s team line up like this come 8pm kick-off time:

Arsenal XI 2

A tough game against the league leaders is made even harder by the injury crisis, and a big effort will be required from players, staff and fans alike at Anfield to secure a significant win.

PICK YOUR XI:

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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