Jurgen Klopp faces a tough balancing act with his selection for two games in 48-hours, starting with Leicester’s arrival at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds look to sign off what has been a productive 2017 with a second straight Anfield victory.
Claude Puel’s Foxes present the first challenge of the double-header, and with a tough trip to Burnley on New Years’ Day, it is vital the Reds claim all three points to bring positive form into 2018.
This stage last season proved the beginning of Liverpool’s winter collapse, as Klopp failed to appropriately utilise his squad.
The boss is sure to avoid the same mistakes this year by rotating across the games, and he has various potential selections available for the first instalment.
- Klopp to utilise squad depth to navigate intense double-header
- Jordan Henderson ruled out for lengthy spell with hamstring injury
- Alberto Moreno, Daniel Sturridge & Nathaniel Clyne also missing
- Sadio Mane poised for starting XI return after rest in Swansea win
- Dejan Lovren also hoping for recall
- Loris Karius, James Milner, Adam Lallana & Dominic Solanke all available
Liverpool’s XI vs. The Foxes
The next two games will see plenty of rotation as Klopp spreads the workload throughout his squad.
But a four-day break from the Swansea win – which was hardly the most strenuous challenge this season – could see the boss stick closely to that in-form side.
Only a gentle reorganisation could arrive, therefore, as Klopp looks to ensure consistency in performance is maintained.
Klopp has done an excellent job utilising his squad this winter, but two games in 48-hours presents the biggest challenge yet.
The boss has said his plan is to focus on one game at a time, but Klopp could balance his use of key men and squad players for each game to ensure both selections boast quality and freshness.
Therefore a rotated side featuring far more changes could be chosen and the permutations are endless for Klopp.
One option could see six changes made, which would see Karius’ entrance in defence followed by a return for Lovren, handing Ragnar Klavan a chance to recharge.
Meanwhile in midfield, Milner could be joined by Lallana who could make his first start of the season to give both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gini Wijnaldum a rest.
And in attack, Solanke could also enter alongside Mane, which would preserve Salah and Roberto Firmino for the Turf Moor trip.
2017 has been a year of pleasing progress, and it’s vital the Reds sign off the year with three points to ensure they slide into what will hopefully be a more successful 2018 in positive form.