Lucas to make way in Klopp’s only change – Predicting Liverpool’s XI vs. Arsenal

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Liverpool’s starting XI is set to retain a familiar look against Arsenal, with the depleted Reds squad restricting Jurgen Klopp’s changes.

The Reds return to Anfield facing the familiar challenge of needing to revive their top-four push against rivals after a damaging loss to strugglers.

The Gunners present the latest task for Klopp’s side in what is arguably their biggest game of the season so far, considering the impact victory or defeat could have on hopes for Champions League qualification.

Frustratingly, Klopp is extremely limited in his ability to freshen things up as Liverpool’s lack of depth is exposed by injuries, and this is likely to see a familiar looking lineup deployed.

 

Team News

  • Similar squad to Leicester defeat at Klopp’s disposal with familiar faces unavailable
  • Dejan Lovren fit again but limited training time makes availability touch-and-go
  • Reds XI set for familiar look with Klopp lacking options to make meaningful changes
  • Midfield and attacking selections to remain the same with little else available
  • Klopp could consider change of shape to address his side’s struggles

 

Liverpool’s XI vs. the Gunners

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, December 19, 2016: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren in action against Everton during the FA Premier League match, the 227th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has few genuine options to introduce for the crunch clash, but the boss is likely to make at least one alteration to the starting lineup.

That’s set to come at centre-back where Lucas simply has to be replaced after his Leicester horror-show, and if Lovren can prove his fitness in final preparations, the Croatian will make a welcome return.

With a lack of in-form quality to introduce elsewhere, Klopp is almost certain to stick with the same midfield and forward selections.

The boss will hope those he keeps faith with play their way into form as game-playing rhythm builds with a second match in five days.

The Reds’ erratic form and increasingly lethargic performances could force Klopp into making bigger changes in attempt to spark more consistency.

This could include a switch of formation and a return to 4-2-3-1 seems a possible option, with the squad having played the system consistently during the opening months of Klopp’s reign.

Though limited in personnel to turn to, the German could introduce fresh legs in areas where energy is low to boost the team.

The under-used Moreno could take over from the sluggish James Milner, while if Lovren fails to prove his fitness, Klavan could enter alongside Joel Matip in a second defensive change.

Meanwhile in attack, Roberto Firmino’s recent struggles—with just three goals in his last 15 league games—could see the Brazilian make way for Origi to lead the line.

This would hand Klopp at least one genuine game-changing option from the bench should it be required, and see the Reds line up like this at Anfield:

With top-four hopes diminishing, Liverpool simply have to respond to a damaging defeat with another big-game display and result to keep ambitions of Champions League football alive.

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