Jurgen Klopp faces a big decision as to whether to rotate or keep his side at full strength for Liverpool’s derby clash with Everton on Sunday.
Anfield hosts what will be an electric 229th Merseyside derby as Klopp’s side seek a fourth consecutive grudge match win over their nearest and dearest.
The Reds arrive in top form and with sky-high confidence after reaching the Champions League’s last 16 with a stunning, free-scoring display which will have struck panic and fear into the Blue half of Merseyside.
Klopp restored the Reds to full strength against Spartak Moscow, and though some minor changes will arrive, the boss is likely to keep the team as close to maximum power as possible against the Toffees.
- Klopp set to keep Reds at full strength, making only minor changes
- Simon Mignolet to return for Premier League duties
- Alberto Moreno ruled out after injuring ankle in Spartak Moscow rout
- James Milner and Andy Robertson battling for left-back role
- Jordan Henderson poised for return to midfield after midweek rest
- Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain & Daniel Sturridge all hoping for recalls to starting XI
Liverpool’s XI vs. the Toffees
Klopp enjoyed the rewards of shrewd rotation of his key and core players over recent games by watching his reunited full-strength team dismantle Spartak.
That dazzling display—and how full of energy the Reds looked while producing it—gives Klopp every reason to go all-out again, with Wednesday’s trip to West Brom providing a better moment to rotate.
Only minor adjustments should be made to inject some freshness into the team—with Henderson to do this in midfield and Milner likely to provide energy in defence stepping in for Moreno.
The ‘Fab Four’ would all link up again as Klopp looks for another blistering attacking display:
Such an adventurous selection could be viewed as a risk given what is at stake, and Klopp could reorganise into a slightly more conservative approach from the start.
A more solid midfield could be deployed at the expense of one of his attacking quartet, which would give Klopp an ideal option to either open up or change the game as Sam Allardyce’s Blues tire.
Rather than replacing Emre Can, Henderson could join the German and Gini Wijnaldum in a more secure midfield unit.
It’s a ridiculously tough call over which member of the lethal quartet then misses out—it could literally be decided by a game of ‘paper, scissors, stone’ between themselves.
Perhaps holding Salah in reserve would be the wise choice, given the Egyptian recently demonstrated what a devastating impact he can make as an impact substitute.
Meanwhile, Robertson, as an actual left-back, could—and hopefully will—get the nod over Milner.
Liverpool have been in fine form recently, but Klopp’s side will have to step up another level at Anfield to earn what would be a huge three points and make for a perfect early Christmas gift.