Jurgen Klopp is set to return to his strongest lineup for Saturday’s clash with Hull, but with the quality and depth of his squad, it won’t be an easy selection for the Liverpool boss.
The Reds host Mike Phelan’s Tigers as they return to Premier League action looking to build on an increasingly impressive start to the campaign.
Klopp’s men arrive at Anfield full of confidence following three straight wins – now also five games unbeaten in all competitions – and the Reds will be determined to add to the winning sequences by avoiding a first ever home loss to Hull.
Finding consistency and avoiding slip-ups against ‘lesser’ sides is the challenge for Liverpool over the next two league games, and Klopp has some big calls to make in defence and attack with the XI he entrusts to start that positively at Anfield.
- Klopp to restore strongest XI after midweek rotation in Derby win
- Gini Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana fit and “ready” after minor problems and rest
- Daniel Sturridge “should be” fit following small issues after Chelsea victory
- Dejan Lovren, James Milner and Sadio Mane all fresh and in line to return
- Klopp facing big call over whether to start Simon Mignolet or Loris Karius in goal
- Another selection headache for Reds boss with attacking quality available
- Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Mane & Sturridge all battling for three positions
- But Divock Origi hopeful of retaining striking role after goal-scoring display at Derby
- Likes of Alberto Moreno, Ragnar Klavan and Lucas likely to drop to the bench
Klopp has already faced numerous tough selection choices this season, and he has more again ahead of Saturday’s game – at the back and in attack.
In defence, having finally introduced Karius to English football, Klopp could stick with his envisaged long-term No.1 behind what has become the trusted back four, with Lovren and Milner resuming their left-side roles.
The manager reportedly told Karius and Mignolet of the decision to go with the German, after training on Friday on afternoon.
The midfield picks itself with Jordan Henderson, Wijnaldum and Lallana all fresh, meaning they’ll continue their record of starting every league game together so far this season.
The huge call comes in the front three, where Klopp must bench one of Sturridge, Firmino, Coutinho or Mane.
With Sturridge having missed part of the week after struggling with a knock after the Chelsea match, the England forward looks likely to be the one to miss out, meaning Firmino back into the central no.9 role.
That would provide the following lineup:
That would also leave a VERY competitive bench, featuring Sturridge, Divock Origi, Emre Can, Lucas or Klavan, Moreno, Grujic and Mignolet.
Having produced some big performances and results to cement a fine start, the Reds must retain their focus and performance level to avoid a repeat of Burnley and claim a routine three points.