Unchanged team or Henderson in? – Predicting Liverpool’s lineup vs. Crystal Palace

19 August 2018

Liverpool seem likely to stick with the same team that did the business against West Ham for Monday’s trip to Crystal Palace, but could Jurgen Klopp reshuffle?


The Reds head to Selhurst Park looking to add to an electric start to the season by making it two wins from two.

Liverpool know the importance a fast start has on title ambitions and another convincing win will be the aim as Klopp’s men attempt to apply early pressure to a rampant Man City.

There is a quality and competitive squad at Klopp’s disposal and therefore the luxury of being able to select the lineup based on what is required game-by-game.

This poses an interesting selection as Klopp considers whether to stick with what worked a treat against the Hammers or make changes to keep things fresh with numerous Reds pushing for starts.

So how could the starting XI look on Monday night?

 

Definite Starters

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates scoring the first goal during the Premier League match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool. Picture date 12th August 2018. Picture credit should read: Simon Bellis/Sportimage via PA Images

The nucleus of the team which blitzed West Ham will surely be kept intact.

Alisson will be in goal behind an unchanged defence of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.

Naby Keita is a certain pick in midfield, where Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner will hope to keep their places.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will provide the firepower.

Pushing For Starts

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, August 7, 2018: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the pre-match warm-up before the preseason friendly match between Liverpool FC and Torino FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Captain Jordan Henderson will hope to be in the XI after a second-half cameo against West Ham, as will Xherdan Shaqiri.

Fabinho will hope to make his debut after illness restricted him to a bench role in the season opener.

Further Options

BURY, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 14, 2018: Liverpool's Joel Matip during a preseason friendly match between Bury FC and Liverpool FC at Gigg Lane. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Alberto Moreno, Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip—who is back from injury and will “hopefully” be involved—offer fresh defensive alternatives.

Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge provide further options but both seem set for the bench.

 

The Potential Lineups

The Reds set an instant benchmark for performance level against West Ham and Klopp will want a similarly complete display against the Eagles.

It could be decided that the best way to get it is by sticking with those who delivered so convincingly in the Anfield opener.

All those who started the 4-0 win certainly deserve to keep their places, and with the balance and understanding of that collective also impressive, there is no reason to tamper.

It would mean Fabinho’s wait for a competitive debut goes on while Henderson, Shaqiri and Sturridge all continue on the bench.

As mentioned, there is every reason for the same XI to continue and it would border on harsh in the extreme to take anyone out.

Changes certainly won’t be made for the sake of freshening things up this early in the season, but one switch could arrive in midfield.

It seems a potentially tricky fixture to throw Fabinho in for his Premier League debut as No. 6, but Henderson could come into the defensive-midfield position.

A real dilemma presents itself here (and going forward) for Klopp over the captain’s role, and it’s certainly questionable as to whether he deserves a start at Selhurst Park.

But Henderson’s increasing readiness for action, leadership responsibilities and a solid week of training to fully get up to speed could see him come in for his first start of the season.

With Keita a nailed-on starter and Milner arguably the best performer last week, Wijnaldum would most likely be the man to make way from his stand-in role at No. 6.

Nothing else is likely to change with a settled, consistent side arguably the key to building early momentum needed.

The opening victory over West Ham was the perfect start to the new campaign, but the Reds must now back up that impressive win with another at Selhurst Park.

More from This Is Anfield


Fan Comments