Unchanged XI or Sturridge to start? – Predicting Liverpool’s lineup vs. Sunderland

25 November 2016

Jurgen Klopp could name an unchanged team as Liverpool face Sunderland on Saturday, with Adam Lallana set to miss out, but the Reds boss may deploy a more attack-minded side.


Liverpool host David Moyes’ second-from-bottom Sunderland at Anfield, where they search to make an instant return to winning ways.

The Reds will be desperate for victory to keep pace with the front runners, and a more clinical display in front of goal will be required against Moyes’ side who arrive with increased confidence after sealing back-to-back wins in their last two outings.

Fixtures like this must see three points won if the Reds are serious about challenging for the title, and Klopp could field a more attack-minded team, introducing Daniel Sturridge or Divock Origi, in attempt to secure an important win.

 

Team News

UPDATE: Daniel Sturridge is ruled out with a slight injury.

  • Klopp to pick from same squad as for Southampton draw
  • Reds boss could name unchanged team for first time in 41 games
  • strong>Lallana set to miss out for second game running with groin injury
  • Wijnaldum could continue in England midfielder’s absence
  • But Sturridge pushing for starting role and could come into more offensive XI

 

Liverpool’s XI vs. The Black Cats

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 25, 2016: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge in action against Tottenham Hotspur during the Football League Cup 4th Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though the Reds were held to a goalless draw at Southampton, Klopp was extremely pleased with the performance his side produced at St Mary’s in tough circumstances.

Only a goal was missing from a completely dominant display against Claude Puel’s men, and after such a strong showing from a well-balanced XI, Klopp could name an unchanged team for the first time in 41 games.

This would see Wijnaldum again deputise for Lallana alongside Jordan Henderson and Emre Can, while Klopp’s preferred trio of Coutinho, Mane and Firmino would once more lead the Reds’ attack.

Keeping faith with the same team to not be quite as wayward in front of goal at Anfield would see Liverpool lineup with this team:

Unchanged XI vs. Sunderland

But in a game Liverpool must take maximum points from, Klopp could throw caution to the wind and select a more naturally attack-focussed team.

Wasteful finishing proved costly to two points being dropped at Southampton, and with no margin for error at Anfield, Klopp may introduce Sturridge for his clinical touch in front of goal.

In a game the Reds are likely to dominate, the England striker should replace one of the industrious Wijnaldum or Emre Can, with the opportunity to still accommodate the usual blistering front trio.

Entering for the Dutchman seems most likely, allowing Coutinho to drop deeper into midfield and Firmino to switch to the left, thus affording Sturridge the central role to hopefully break his Premier League duck.

An ambitious selection – with the same attack that started Liverpool’s 4-1 in over Leicester – would see the Reds look like this:

Sturridge in for Wijnaldum XI vs. Sunderland

Having earned a solid point on return from international activity, it is crucial Klopp’s men build again with a vital three points on Saturday to keep their title pursuit on track.

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