Wijnaldum to start, 3 changes to come? – Predicting Liverpool’s lineup vs. Chelsea

21 September 2019

Gini Wijnaldum looks set to return to midfield but Jurgen Klopp could conduct some further rotation to his Liverpool team against Chelsea.


Klopp has made changes to his starting XI for the last two games, following two changes against Newcastle with the same number in Naples.

The German is sure to switch things up again as the Reds look to bounce back from a draining night in Napoli with a return to winning ways at Stamford Bridge.

The big question is whether more alterations will be made against Frank Lampard’s side, with this the third big game of a testing week.

Here’s how Liverpool’s starting lineup could look at Stamford Bridge.

 

Injury Update & The Squad Available

Klopp gave a positive injury update in his pre-match press conference, but not one that changes the picture drastically ahead of Sunday’s showdown.

Despite making “big progress” Alisson is still not ready, while Divock Origi is “unlikely” to be involved as a patient approach is taken with his ankle issue.

The best news came with Klopp confirming Naby Keita joined team training on Friday, but Sunday will almost certainly come too early for the No.8 to feature.

Meanwhile, it appears Andy Robertson suffered no ill effects after passing a late fitness test to play against Napoli, ensuring the left-back should be fit to play.

It all means the same squad is available as against Napoli, and changes could be made with strong options in all departments.

Adrian will continue in goal, but Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Robertson could all keep their starting roles.

Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren offer alternatives, with James Milner an option for left-back.

Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are pushing for recalls after dropping to the bench in midweek; both battling to take a place from Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Milner.

Xherdan Shaqiri’s wait for a proper opportunity looks set to continue, with the attack of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino sure to be unchanged.

With striking options in short supply, Rhian Brewster could come into the matchday fold against his former club.

 

Liverpool’s Possible Lineup vs. Chelsea

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 14, 2019: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This may well be the third game of a tough week for Liverpool, but there is no doubt Klopp will go with his strongest team.

The Reds have enjoyed a healthy gap between games and have the chance to conduct full rotation in Wednesday’s League Cup tie at League One side MK Dons.

Klopp will, therefore, go with his strongest XI at Stamford Bridge, keeping changes to a minimum and adding only some fresh legs where needed.

The midfield is always the area Klopp freshens up first, and that should be the case again as the back-four and attack very much pick itself at this stage.

It could be that we just see the one change made, with Wijnaldum coming in to replace Milner to give the Reds the familiar big-game XI.

Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Salah, Firmino


On the other hand, Klopp could opt for a few further changes to inject some greater freshness after a taxing night in the Naples heat for his players.

One of those could see a rare defensive switch made in Gomez replacing Alexander-Arnold for a little more defensive security in a top-six clash away from home.

Another pair of fresh legs could be added to midfield along with Wijnaldum to ensure the Reds have the energy for a full-throttle performance.

This, hopefully, would see Oxlade-Chamberlain restored to provide some attacking thrust in support of the traditional front three.

Adrian; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mane, Salah, Firmino


It seems more likely that Klopp will opt for something closer to the first selection, starting with a more solid than adventurous team for a top-six clash away from Anfield.

This is a very winnable game for the Reds though, which could tempt the boss into naming the more attacking XI in an attempt to pick up a huge three points.

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