Jurgen Klopp has dropped goalkeeper Loris Karius to the bench for Liverpool’s clash with Middlesbrough, replacing him with Simon Mignolet.
The 23-year-old has come under considerable scrutiny in recent days, and is one of two changes to Klopp’s starting lineup, as Liverpool look to seal their first win on Teesside since the end of the 2001/02 campaign.
Taking Karius’ place, Mignolet will be hoping for cover from Ragnar Klavan, in a back line that also includes Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and James Milner.
Klavan replaced Lovren at half-time in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with West Ham United, and makes his seventh start of the season at the Riverside Stadium, but this time fills in for Joel Matip.
Matip is once again sidelined with an ankle injury, with no indication yet as to its severity.
In midfield, injury to Emre Can and Marko Grujic limits Klopp’s options, but the manager is still able to call upon Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana.
Matip, Can and Grujic have joined Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings on the treatment table, leaving Klopp with little to play around with in attack.
This sees Divock Origi continue up front, flanked by Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Coutinho has revealed he is targeting a return on New Year’s Eve against Manchester City, while Sturridge has begun light training at Melwood this week, with their comebacks key.
Liverpool will be forced to persevere without them at the Riverside, however, with Ben Woodburn still the only attacking option on Klopp’s substitutes’ bench.
The 17-year-old is joined by Karius, Lucas Leiva, Alberto Moreno, Kevin Stewart, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria in a decidedly youthful group.
Middlesbrough: Valdes; Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Fabio; Clayton, De Roon, Forshaw; Traore, Fischer, Negredo
Substitutes: Guzan, Nsue, Bernardo, Leadbitter, Downing, Rhodes, Nugent
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Klavan, Milner; Henderson, Lallana, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Origi
Substitutes: Karius, Lucas, Moreno, Stewart, Alexander-Arnold, Ejaria, Woodburn