Gomez to replace Matip as Reds stay strong – Predicting Liverpool’s lineup vs. Salzburg

1 October 2019

Jurgen Klopp will be forced into making at least one change to Liverpool’s starting lineup against Salzburg, as Joel Matip misses out through injury.


The Reds will be at full strength on their return to Anfield for a night in which securing victory is essential after the opening loss in Naples.

However, Klopp will make at least one alteration as a result of Matip’s absence, with no risks to be taken with the in-form centre-back.

Further rotation could come in midfield, where an injection of energy and creativity would be welcome to spark an improved attacking performance.

Here’s how we predict Liverpool’s starting lineup will look against Salzburg.

 

Injury Update & Potential Changes

Klopp revealed in Tuesday’s press conference that Matip took a knock in the win at Sheffield United, meaning the centre-back will miss out along with Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Joe Gomez is poised to step into the role alongside Virgil van Dijk and will want to use the opportunity to win his starting place back.

There are plenty of options available should further rotation changes be considered.

Midfield is usually the first area Klopp switches up, and James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the main contenders to enter.

Naby Keita should return to the matchday fold after a spell building up fitness, but will likely have to settle for a place on the bench.

Divock Origi will hope for a return to the starting XI after his positive cameo display helped the Reds over the line last time out.

 

Liverpool’s Starting XI vs. Salzburg

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)

Following the false start in Naples two weeks ago, this is a game Liverpool must win.

Anfield nights must continue to be a stage for victory in European competition—especially considering the ongoing struggles away from home.

With that in mind, Klopp looks set to stick as close as possible to his strongest team in order to ensure an important win is earned.

This should mean that only the one enforced change is made to the lineup, with Gomez replacing Matip at the heart of defence.

A much-improved collective display will be required—particularly from the midfield and attack—and here’s how Liverpool’s starting XI would look:

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


With a tough test to come against high-flying Leicester on Saturday, a change in midfield may also arrive to keep things fresh.

Aside from that, introducing a more attack-minded option to the middle of the park would also be welcome to add some creativity and support for the front three—as Klopp assessed is required.

The availability of Oxlade-Chamberlain and timely return of Keita ensure the options are now there to add this dimension.

For Wednesday’s game specifically the former seems best placed to provide it, with the Guinean unlikely to be ready to start after his recent return.

A switch of roles involving Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wijnaldum—who hasn’t hit his best form yet this season—could be the move Klopp makes.

And that second change would mean Liverpool line up at Anfield with this XI:

Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Mane, Firmino


Whether Klopp decides to make the one or two changes, Liverpool should have more than enough to see off the Austrian visitors and claim a much-needed three points.

And if the likes of Gomez and Oxlade-Chamberlain do come in, it will be interesting to see whether they can perform well enough to keep their places for the long term.

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