Lallana to return, Firmino or Sturridge up top? – Predicting Liverpool’s XI vs. West Brom

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Jurgen Klopp has a “big squad” to select from for Saturday’s clash with West Brom, giving the Reds boss some crucial selection decisions to make with his midfield and attack in particular.

Liverpool seek to build on their strong start to the season by kicking off a winnable run of games as they mean to go on against the Baggies.

A typically physical test awaits against Tony Pulis’ men, who Liverpool have struggled against in recent years, but returning to winning ways is vital for Klopp’s side with maximum points needing to be routinely won from such fixtures at Anfield.

A practically full squad gives Klopp several selection dilemmas for the clash, and the German boss has some big calls to come over who starts in midfield, and whether out-of-sorts Daniel Sturridge continues in attack.

Team News

  • Full squad available to Klopp with “nobody ruled out” of Baggies clash
  • Reds boosted by Gini Wijnaldum’s availability with Dutchman set to return to squad
  • Adam Lallana pushing for starting berth after impactful cameo on Monday night
  • Tough decisions to make in midfield and attack with key midfielders fit again
  • Emre Can hopeful of keeping starting shirt in midfield
  • Sturridge hopeful of leading the line again after flat display against United
  • Roberto Firmino could start up top after improvement vs. United with Brazilian centrally

Liverpool’s XI vs. The Baggies

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, October 17, 2016: Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Manchester United during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has arguably his biggest selection headache of the season for the Baggies’ visit – albeit a welcome one with the quality available – and he has numerous lineups to deploy.

One option could see Klopp make a single change to the XI named on Monday, restoring the influential Lallana, but who the England midfielder enters for is an interesting call.

It could come at struggling Sturridge’s expense, allowing Lallana, Henderson and Can – whose physicality will be valuable – to form midfield, keeping the returning Wijnaldum in reserve.

Coutinho can return to his left-side front-three role, reforming the Reds’ most dangerous attacking trio this season so far, with Sadio Mane and Firmino, who moves up front:

West Brom XI 1

With West Brom almost certain to sit deep to attempt to frustrate Liverpool, Klopp could deploy an ultra-offensive lineup.

The Reds boss could start all of his primary offensive options in an XI filled with creativity, skill and speed from all angles, thus maximising potential to break down a similarly set-up defence to United’s.

Within this, Wijnaldum and Lallana could be reintroduced in place of Can and Sturridge, restoring what became the Reds’ first choice midfield, leaving Firmino to play up top again.

But it seems more likely that Henderson would anchor behind the crafty and energetic pair of Lallana and Coutinho, allowing Mane and Firmino to wreak havoc in support of Sturridge, who will be desperate to net his first league goal this season.

An all-out-attack selection from Klopp would see his Liverpool lineup like this:

West Brom XI 2

The Reds have dropped valuable points too often against West Brom in recent years, and with Klopp’s men looking to take full advantage of a favourable run, there must be no repeat at Anfield.

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