Injuries will force Jurgen Klopp into naming a familiar-looking lineup against Burnley, but Roberto Firmino’s possible absence could see change in attack.
Liverpool face a recurring challenge at Anfield where Klopp’s men finally look to follow big-game success with victory over weaker opponents.
Promising recent results against Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham were then wasted by losses to Swansea, Hull and Leicester, and the Reds won’t get a better chance to end this costly cycle than against the Premier League’s worst travellers.
Klopp’s selection will be dictated by availability of certain key men including Firmino, and if the Brazilian misses out, a reshuffle in attack will follow as the Reds look to break Burnley’s block.
- Klopp operating with similar squad as injuries continue to limit options
- Roberto Firmino the latest concern and doubtful to feature having missed training this week
- Dejan Lovren touch-and-go to feature after recent return from knee problem
- Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge ruled out with foot and calf injuries
- Klopp hopeful of naming unchanged XI from Arsenal win but dependant on Firmino’s fitness
- Ragnar Klavan poised to keep starting shirt after solid display against the Gunners
- Rest of defence and midfield options fit and ready to go again
- Divock Origi poised to deputise if Firmino misses out
The Reds’ XI vs. the Clarets
Klopp spoke in his press conference on the importance of “consistency” in selection, stating: “the longer you can play together the better for the team, the things you learn about each other, without thinking about it.”
After watching his side produce yet again on the big occasion, the boss will certainly hope he’s in a position to name the same lineup come Sunday afternoon.
Whether Klopp can all hinges on Firmino’s condition, but if the Brazilian—who will be given maximum time to prove his fitness—does recover, he will continue alongside Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane to lead what will hopefully be another free-flowing display.
Firmino’s availability would also allow Klopp to deploy his strongest lineup currently available—with Klavan’s form and superior fitness worthy of keeping the Estonian in ahead of Lovren.
The boss is then left hoping—like the rest of us—that the unchanged XI replicates last week’s intensity and performance level, which would prove too much for the Clarets.
If Firmino fails to recover, Klopp will be forced into change which will see Origi—who produced an eye-catching cameo against the Gunners—handed the chance to lead the line and make his mark.
With fluid support from Coutinho, Mane and Adam Lallana, the Belgian would offer a focal point, and a predatory presence, which could provide a different route to breaking Burnley’s defensive barrier—as suggested earlier this week.
Another alteration could come in defence, where Lovren’s possible availability could see Klopp restore the first-choice central pairing at the earliest opportunity, despite Klavan having deputised solidly against Arsenal.
These two changes to the XI would see the Reds line up like this:
After reviving the top-four push with a typically excellent big-game win, Klopp’s men must ensure that work is built upon with a rare routine success over weaker opponents.