NORWICH, ENGLAND - Friday, January 22, 2016: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the first goal against Norwich City during the Premiership match at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Firmino to lead attack – Predicting Liverpool’s lineup vs. Aston Villa

Should Daniel Sturridge be risked from the start against Aston Villa after one sub appearance? We take a look at Jurgen Klopp‘s options.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 26, 2015: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge scores the third goal against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds return to Premier League action against Remi Garde’s bottom of the table Aston Villa after exhausting FA Cup action in midweek.

Klopp’s options have been boosted by the welcome returns of key attacking players, but with their comebacks needing careful management and one eye on the all-important Europa League campaign, the Reds boss is likely to name a familiar looking Reds XI on Sunday.


Team News

  • Healthier squad at Klopp’s disposal following returns of key men
  • But fresh injury setback with Allen out for a month with hamstring strain
  • Skrtel and Lovren also unavailable to take part
  • Klopp to carefully manage comebacks of fit again players
  • Coutinho, Sturridge, Origi unlikely to start at Villa Park
  • Clyne and Moreno set for full-back recalls
  • Toure and Caulker fighting for start alongside Sakho
  • Can, Henderson, Milner in line to return to starting XI
  • Rested duo Lallana and Firmino to reconvene in attack
  • Benteke set to return to bench for trip to former club


Liverpool’s XI

With returning absentees needing time and those who featured heavily at West Ham set to be replaced, Klopp’s selection is relatively straightforward.

Clyne and Moreno will take over from Jon Flanagan and Brad Smith at full-back – Smith having also picked up an injury – to complete the defence with Sakho and Toure at centre-half.

With Lucas having played 120 minutes in midweek, Can and Henderson should form a two-man centre, allowing Milner, Lallana and Ibe to play in support of Roberto Firmino, with Sturridge held in reserve with no need to rush him back.

A Reds XI boasting nine changes would line up like this at Villa Park:

Villa 4-2-3-1

Klopp does have a small bit of room for manoeuvre however, and could adjust formation and personnel slightly.

Caulker could make his first Premier League start next to Sakho instead of the experienced Toure, while Can, Henderson and Milner could form a three man midfield.

That would allow Coutinho another welcome run-out after coming through his midweek outing unscathed, and to be reunited in the front three with Lallana and compatriot, Firmino on the spacious Villa Park surface.

Those changes would see Liverpool line up looking like this come 2:05pm kick-off time on Sunday afternoon:

Aston Villa 4-3-3

There may be nothing riding on the game, but with the recommencing of a vital Europa League campaign and a League Cup final on the horizon, it’s essential the Reds pick up three points for form and confidence.


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