Jurgen Klopp has been boosted by the return to fitness of some key attacking players as he prepares to restore first choice picks for Sunday’s clash against Bournemouth.
The Reds seek to continue their excellent form and extend their 15 match unbeaten run as they turn attentions back to their pursuit of the Premier League title.
Eddie Howe’s Cherries present the latest test for Klopp’s side, who search for a fifth win in six league games to keep pace with the early front-runners in what is shaping into one of the tightest title races in Premier League history.
Klopp has confirmed changes will be made as he restores Liverpool’s strongest lineup available, and though certain key men remain out, this could include a welcome return for fit-again Adam Lallana.
- Klopp to restore regular starters after League Cup rotation
- Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge ruled out
- Lallana in race to prove fitness after groin injury return
- Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi both fit after recovering from knocks
- Joel Matip available after minor issue kept him out of Leeds win
- Loris Karius to replace Simon Mignolet in goal
- Usual back four all fit and set to reconvene
- Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum to form midfield if Lallana not 100%
- Origi set to spearhead attack for first Premier League start this season
- Youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and Ben Woodburn hoping for involvement after impressing in Leeds win
Liverpool’s XI vs. The Cherries
Klopp has received a welcome boost with Firmino and Origi’s availability at a time attacking options are limited, but the final selection will hinge on the readiness of vital component, Lallana, who will be afforded maximum opportunity to prove his fitness.
Returning to full training only on Thursday, thus lacking match fitness and sharpness, may make this too difficult a task for the 28-year-old who could be utilised instead as an impact substitute.
Therefore, Klopp’s XI could boast just one change to the side that started the 2-0 win over Sunderland last weekend.
Keeping the same back four and midfield trio of Henderson, Can and Wijnaldum, this would come with Origi replacing Coutinho to lead the line with support from Sadio Mane and Firmino from the left.
A strong Liverpool XI could look like this on Sunday:
Lallana has been one of the key cogs in the Reds’ system this season, with his energy and link-play sorely missed recently.
If he can prove his fitness you can bet the 28-year-old will play from the start, likely slot back into midfield to re-form what became Klopp’s preferred trio alongside Henderson and Can.
This would mean Wijnaldum makes way, unless Klopp deploys him in an advanced left-side role again with Firmino as the main striker, but the form and return to fitness of Origi makes this unlikely.
Therefore if Lallana can play from the beginning, this could be the team to take the fight to the Cherries:
A tough game awaits the under-strength Reds and Klopp’s side will have to display strength in mentality and performance to ensure they return to Merseyside with another crucial three points.