After a much-improved performance against Chelsea in midweek, the Reds look to rejuvenate their campaign with a first league win of 2017 against the Tigers.
A torrid January has now been confined to the past, and with February bringing a manageable schedule and full-strength squad, Klopp’s side must rediscover the performance level that made them such a force before the turn of the year.
Mane’s availability will only assist that process, and the Senegalese could make an instant return to the starting lineup as Liverpool search for victory over Marco Silva’s improving side.
- No fresh injury concerns for Jurgen Klopp who has near-full squad available
- All key personnel fit giving Reds boss depth and selection headaches in midfield and attack
- Klopp likely to deploy strongest lineup in search of much-needed league win
- Sadio Mane poised for welcome return to attack, likely alongside Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino
- Jordan Henderson fit and battling for midfield place with Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana
Liverpool’s XI vs. the Tigers
With Klopp now boasting the options he brilliantly utilised in the blitzing first half of the season, the boss could immediately bring them back together on Saturday.
Mane’s comeback presents plenty of flexibility, but it’s the ability to deploy the first-choice midfield and attacking units again that is most crucial as the Reds look to reignite the campaign.
And Klopp could restore these at the first opportunity, deploying Mane, Coutinho and Firmino—the trio who inspired the 5-1 thrashing of Hull at Anfield—in tandem for the first time since November’s Sunderland win.
Klopp could then recreate his preferred central setup—which also started that day—bringing Lallana back into his box-to-box role alongside Wijnaldum, with Henderson providing defensive protection.
With Simon Mignolet in goal and the defence picking itself, arguably Liverpool’s strongest XI would feature for the first time since November:
While Klopp will be desperate to pick his strongest team having waited so long, final selection will ultimately hinge on fitness levels of certain players—most crucially, Mane.
The Senegalese may not be quite ready to start after an intense AFCON, plenty of travelling and limited training time, and this could force Klopp into keeping his star man on the bench.
Mane beginning among the substitutes would see Lallana continue in attack in an unchanged frontline with the Brazilian duo, which would therefore see Can retain his midfield place.
Meanwhile, with Clyne still yet to fully recover from his abdominal injury, any flare-up could see him kept out and Alexander-Arnold deputise.
A more familiar-looking side to recent weeks would see Liverpool start like this:
Liverpool stopped the rot with a courageous display at Anfield in midweek, and Klopp’s men must now back that up with a winning performance in Yorkshire to reignite the league campaign.