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Unchanged or 3 changes? – Predicting Liverpool’s line up vs. Augsburg

We take a look at how Jurgen Klopp could line up his Liverpool side as the Reds take on Augsburg in the Europa League.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Wednesday, February 17, 2016: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp with his Brazilian players Philippe Coutinho Correia and Roberto Firmino during a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match against FC Augsburg at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool re-open a vital Europa League campaign in Germany on Thursday night against Markus Weinzierl’s Augsburg.

A positive first leg performance and result is vital for Klopp’s side, with the Reds needing to avoid the strain of a second leg battle that would play just three days before the League Cup final against Man City.

Liverpool have to go all-out for success in Europe with it the only remaining realistic route to the Champions League, and Klopp is likely to name the strongest possible team to attempt to ensure the ideal first tie transpires.


Team News

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - Wednesday, February 17, 2016: Liverpool's Christian Benteke, Mamadou Sakho, Philippe Coutinho Correia and Nathaniel Clyne walk out for a training session ahead of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match against FC Augsburg at the Augsburg Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Similar squad at Klopp’s disposal for key first leg
  • Klopp set to name full strength side as he eyes Europa League success
  • Lovren missing after travelling home for family illness however
  • Stewart disappointingly out after sustaining ankle injury in training
  • Lallana also ruled out with calf issue
  • Skrtel and Allen the only other remaining absentees
  • Flanagan ineligible having been left out of European squad
  • But Lucas fit again and could be involved in Germany
  • Klopp could name unchanged side from Aston Villa 6-0 thrashing
  • But Reds boss could introduce fresh legs to his side
  • Caulker an option to come into defence
  • Ibe pushing for start in Reds attack
  • Benteke set to continue on the bench


Liverpool’s XI

Having watched his team dismantle Villa on Sunday, Klopp could stick with the same XI to do the job in Germany with no fixture this weekend.

Keeping the same defence and two-man midfield of Can and Henderson, Milner would again operate in support of Liverpool’s first choice attack of Coutinho, Firmino and Sturridge, who all eyes will be on after a hugely promising first outing together.

Naming the same team from the weekend win would see the Reds line up like this in Augsburg:

4-2-3-1 Unchanged Augsburg

However, Klopp could be cautious with returning players and rotate his side as a result.

That could see Coutinho and Sturridge drop to the bench as the Reds boss manages their comebacks, which would allow Lucas and Ibe to come into the starting XI.

And taking the ageing legs of Toure into consideration with Skrtel and Lovren missing, Klopp could introduce Caulker for additional height and presence to partner Sakho in the centre of defence.

In a slight change of system to 4-3-3, Liverpool could line up like this come 8:05pm kick-off time:

4-3-3 Augsburg

The Reds have endured mixed fortunes at this stage of the Europa League, but Klopp’s side must ensure of a productive first tie result as they begin the battle for a place in the last 16.



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