Jurgen Klopp seems set to stick with his in-form attacking lineup against Sevilla, but a small number of changes to freshen the side are likely.
Victory would seal Reds’ qualification with a game to spare – as would a draw if Maribor beat Spartak Moscow – which would be the ideal scenario to alleviate some pressure on the gruelling schedule.
Klopp will therefore be determined to qualify at the first attempt, and the boss is primed to stick as closely as possible to the confident, winning and attack-minded team deployed against Southampton at Anfield.
- Similar lineup to be named with Klopp to make only subtle changes for freshness
- On-going adductor problem rules Joel Matip out for second successive game
- Adam Lallana named in 23-man squad and primed for first matchday involvement of the season
- Loris Karius to replace Simon Mignolet for European duties
- Dejan Lovren & Ragnar Klavan to continue at centre-back
- Joe Gomez and Emre Can poised to enter in defence and midfield respectively
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain & James Milner hoping to start after cameos in Southampton win
- Andy Robertson, Marko Grujic & Daniel Sturridge provide further options for Klopp
- Danny Ward & Danny Ings included in travelling squad and eyeing places on the bench
The Reds’ XI vs. Sevilla
Little change with injuries – with Matip set to miss out again – means the Reds are set to retain a very similar look to the team which started Saturday’s comfortable win over Southampton.
That is by no means a bad thing given the performance produced, and Klopp will rightly want to stick as close as possible to that exciting, offensive selection – especially with victory guaranteeing Liverpool’s progress.
Only those positions that don’t categorically pick themselves and boast ready-made options available to step-in will see regularly seen switches made to inject some freshness.
Karius will enter in one of those, and the German stopper’s return to defence will be followed by Gomez replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold to provide extra defensive solidity to the right of Lovren and Klavan.
With the wide duo poised to continue alongside Roberto Firmino in attack, Coutinho will again feature in midfield where only one further adjustment to the XI is likely to arrive.
Those three changes would see Liverpool lineup like so:
It is unlikely – and bordering on illogical – for Klopp to make any further changes given the form the Reds are in currently.
But the boss could take an ever so slightly different route in ensuring his midfield remains fresh and energetic for what will be an intense game in a hostile atmosphere.
Can’s entrance could come in place of Henderson rather than Wijnaldum, with the German having reminded of his better suitability to the defensive-midfield slot in recent European outings.
Rotating the captain would once again give Klopp an incredibly strong bench to utilise, which could also be boosted further by Lallana’s confirmed availability.
It would ensure the Reds have an extremely talented matchday squad – one that could hardly be any stronger – to secure what would be a priceless victory at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
The Reds have a golden chance to confirm a last-16 place for the first time since 2009, and after four straight wins, Klopp’s men can arrive with belief that a win and progress can be secured.