Gomez and Can to start as Klopp recalls main men – Liverpool’s lineup options vs. Leicester

22 September 2017

Jurgen Klopp is set to recall his big guns for Liverpool’s second clash in five days against Leicester City, but could be without a key defensive duo.


The Reds return to the East Midlands looking to take revenge for Tuesday’s League Cup defeat by claiming a much-needed Premier League victory.

The opening instalment of the double-header saw Liverpool’s winless run extend to four games, and Klopp’s side must improve significantly to avoid a fourth straight King Power loss and end the slump.

Klopp heavily rotated his lineup for the cup tie in attempt to save most of his key players for Saturday’s more important league clash.

But all has not gone to plan, with Liverpool facing the possibility of being without both first-choice centre-backs, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, as the Reds look to set the record straight.

 

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Liverpool’s XI vs. the Foxes

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Liverpool's Joe Gomez in action against Tranmere Rovers during a preseason friendly match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has heavily rotated the lineup for the last two games, and that will continue on Saturday with the boss to have one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Spartak Moscow.

And with Klopp needing to work out how best to refresh the team while utilising the squad as the relentless schedule continues, changes are likely to come in all departments.

This will certainly include the defence, where Mignolet will return in goal and Klopp could be without his first-choice central pair.

If Matip and Lovren do miss out, Gomez and Klavan will continue at centre-back, and that is likely to spark change either side of the inexperienced partnership.

Trent Alexander-Arnold would be certain to return at right-back, while on the opposite side Alberto Moreno is likely to replace Robertson, who has played successive 90 minutes.

Klopp will also look to revive what was a lifeless midfield in midweek, and can do so by reintroducing Can and James Milner, with the duo adding energy in box-to-box roles ahead of Jordan Henderson.

Selecting that three-man centre would allow Coutinho to continue from the left of attack—where he looked his sharpest so far on Tuesday—and Salah from the right, with the pair flanking Firmino.

This is how the Reds would look at the King Power:

Klopp has received one welcome boost with Can having been passed fit, and the boss will be hopeful for a second with Matip ahead of kickoff.

If the Cameroonian does pull through, he will surely make an instant return to centre-back, with the big question then over who partners him out of Gomez and Klavan.

But with Gomez suspended for Tuesday’s Champions League tie the youngster should play, thus keeping Klavan rested for the trip to Moscow for which Lovren could also be unavailable.

Klopp could opt for slightly different setups in midfield and attack too—specifically to deploy an attack-minded selection in search of sparking an improvement in front of goal.

This could see Coutinho move back into a central role, as against Burnley, to provide creativity from midfield alongside Wijnaldum and ahead of Can—keeping Henderson preserved for Tuesday.

A space then opens for an extra goalscoring threat to feed off Coutinho’s supply, and Sturridge should be the man to enter to lead the line, with support from Firmino and Salah.

An adventurous Reds XI would look like this come 5.30pm kickoff time (BST):

The Reds are in something of a mini slump currently, but Saturday’s fixture presents an ideal chance to end the negativity and return to winning ways with the sweet taste of revenge.

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