Liverpool’s 2015/16 season boils down to one crucial game in Basel, where the Reds look to bring European glory and Champions League football back to Anfield.
It has been a long, hard but thrilling journey to make it to the last showdown for Klopp’s side, and the Reds must now take that one big step to ensure all their hard work is rewarded with the first trophy and a perfect start to the German manager’s tenure.
Klopp will select his strongest side as he attempts to add to Anfield’s populated trophy cabinets, and the Liverpool lineup is likely to retain a familiar look despite the boost of absentees returning.
- Klopp has near full-strength squad after injury boosts
- Jordan Henderson declared himself “ready” to feature if selected
- Divock Origi also available but likely to be named among substitutes
- Klopp likely to play same XI as that of 3-0 semi-final victory vs. Villarreal
- Simon Mignolet to return with Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure set for centre-back duties
- Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno set for full-back starts
- James Milner and Emre Can poised to form midfield
- Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino all fresh to start
- Daniel Sturridge set to lead the line
- Squad members Martin Skrtel, Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Christian Benteke hopeful of involvement
- Sheyi Ojo and Jordon Ibe battling for bench place
Liverpool’s XI vs. Sevilla
Taking injuries and recent form and lineups into account, Klopp’s selection in Basel is made relatively straightforward.
Klopp is almost certain to name the same side that secured a final place with a win against Villarreal at Anfield, with timely injury boosts from Henderson and Origi unlikely to be enough for either to start, as the captain acknowledged in Tuesday’s press conference.
Liverpool are therefore likely to retain a familiar look with the usual back four resuming defensive duties behind a midfield of Can and Milner, with the first-choice attacking quartet spearheaded by Sturridge.
That would give the Reds their fittest and sharpest team from the beginning, but also hands Klopp the chance to name a strong substitutes’ bench with some impactful options available.
Henderson and Origi will be included if Klopp decides against throwing either straight back in, along with Allen and Danny Ward, but the rest are fighting for inclusion for the remaining spots.
Benteke may be included with the Belgian often impactful from the bench this season, as should either Ojo or Ibe with attacking options needed, leaving space for either Lucas or Skrtel – with the Slovakian likely missing out for consistently poor form this season.
That would see Liverpool’s starting XI and bench look like this in St. Jakob-Park for the do-or-die clash on Wednesday night:
Substitutes: Ward, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Ibe, Origi, Benteke
Having already suffered heartbreak once this season in the League Cup final, Klopp’s side must use the agony of that Wembley loss to ensure they emerge victorious in Basel.