Fabinho looks set to be given the nod for a third straight start for Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp‘s side take on Arsenal on Saturday.
The Brazilian impressed on his full Champions League debut for the Reds against Red Star Belgrade, and kept his place for the Premier League win over Cardiff City last weekend.
Another strong showing ensued, with his partnership with Gini Wijnaldum particularly impressive.
While it’s good news for the No. 3, there’s still no sign of two of his team-mates.
Naby Keita has been sidelined since picking up an injury on international duty with Guinea, while captain Jordan Henderson has missed the last two games with a hamstring worry.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Klopp explained that the duo will be back soon, but neither will feature this weekend.
“Hendo is really good, but probably for start of next week,” the boss explained.
“Naby [will return at] the end of this week.”
Mo Salah has been pictured with strapping on his wrist in training this week, but Klopp explained that it is just a precaution:
“Mo its nothing serious, inflammation of the [wrist] tendon, just for protection, it has no influence [on him playing].”
With Henderson and Keita missing, James Milner is the Reds’ third option in central midfield.
Given that Wijnaldum has been a stand-out performer this season and can be considered a near-guaranteed starter, Milner’s involvement will depend on Klopp’s formation of choice.
A 4-2-3-1 as seen in recent games means Milner will likely remain as sub, with Roberto Firmino playing the advanced central role.
The alternative is that Klopp reverts to a 4-3-3, with Milner coming into midfield at the expense of the sole berth being battled for of late between Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana.
In turn, that would see Firmino move into a centre-forward role, with Mohamed Salah moving back out to the right.