LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 31, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp embraces Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane after the FA Premier League match against Chelsea at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lucas & Wijnaldum poised as Klopp waits on key duo – Predicting Liverpool’s XI vs. Spurs

Jurgen Klopp is set to be denied the chance to field Liverpool’s strongest team against Tottenham, with Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana both doubts.

After a much-needed week to recover from the dire defeat at Hull, the Reds attempt to kick-start their fight for a top-four finish against Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

A monumental improvement will be needed against a Spurs team who arrive in confident mood following seven wins from their last nine league games—a run which has taken them to second place.

Liverpool’s record against top-six rivals provides optimism as the Reds seek another positive big-game performance and result.

But Klopp is waiting on the availability of some key men as his team look to bounce back at Anfield.


Team News

  • Jurgen Klopp sweating on fitness of some key men for vital clash
  • Dejan Lovren doubtful after knee injury forced him to miss training
  • Adam Lallana also a doubt with Achilles issue, but Klopp more hopeful over his availability
  • Ragnar Klavan could miss out after suffering “serious bacterial infection”
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn and Harry Wilson hopeful of inclusion after first-team training

    Liverpool’s XI vs. Spurs

    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 6, 2016: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the sixth goal against Watford with team-mate Emre Can during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

    Klopp was unable to name his strongest team at Hull, and he could, incredibly frustratingly, be denied the opportunity for Saturday’s important clash.

    With Lovren, Klavan and Lallana all doubtful, the Reds’ the boss is again facing the prospect of being under-strength for a game in which his side will need to be at their best.

    Indeed, Klopp may have to pair Matip with Lucas at centre-back again in front of the out-of-form Mignolet—which certainly doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Meanwhile, Lallana’s potential absence would almost certainly see Wijnaldum join Henderson and Can in a midfield trio that looks troublingly short on creativity and energy.

    Liverpool would at least still be at their strongest in attack as Klopp can deploy Mane, Coutinho and Firmino, who will need to rediscover their best form after an unexpectedly flat Hull reunion.

    The reshuffled Reds would look like this:

    Klopp’s selection will ultimately hinge on Lovren and Lallana’s availability though, and he will be desperate for them to prove their fitness.

    If the struggling duo manage to come through final preparations unscathed, Klopp will almost certainly use them, and this could finally see Liverpool’s strongest team named for the first time since November.

    Lovren should replace Lucas to rejoin Matip, but in midfield, Lallana should keep his place in a midfield trio boasting one change.

    Wijnaldum should replace the struggling Can to recreate the central trio involved in most of the Reds’ best performances and results this season, alongside Henderson and Lallana.

    And though Klopp has insisted no decision has been made with the potential change in his goalkeeping order, Mignolet’s poor form could see Karius reintroduced, as has been suggested.

    Keeping Mane, Coutinho and Firmino in attack, Liverpool’s would line up like so:

    Liverpool’s success against rivals has been a huge positive this season, and another showing of their big-game mentality will be needed to claim a morale-boosting victory and kick-start the fight for a top-four spot.

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