The Reds are out to make it two from two in the Champions League when they meet a familiar foe in Porto, with Jurgen Klopp having a number of options at his disposal for his XI.
Liverpool maintained their unbeaten run in the Premier League over the weekend, although the result at Brentford was twinged with disappointment for what should have been.
But another point was added to the tally and now the full focus is back on the Champions League, with the Reds out for a 100 percent record as they travel to Portugal.
The clash comes three days following the trip to Brentford and five days before the visit of Man City, leaving the manager plenty to ponder regarding rotation.
The Portuguese side have been swatted away with ease in previous seasons but their draw with Atletico Madrid and unbeaten start to the campaign makes them a different proposition this time out.
It’s predominantly the midfield that have taken up much of the medical departments time in the early parts of the season, but Klopp received a welcome boost to his options:
- Naby Keita returned to team training after minor foot injury
- Thiago remains sidelined; spotted on crutches
- Roberto Firmino back in starting contention after appearance from the bench
- Neco Williams back training and available for selection
- A “big squad of 23” will travel to Porto
Liverpool’s XI vs. Porto
There has been a firm desire to effectively rotate the squad during what has been an incredibly taxing run of games, but it could be a case of the strongest possible XI at Porto.
With a few days grace after full-time ahead of City’s visit there is scope to make only one change from the starting lineup on Saturday:
- Unchanged back five with Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk and Robertson
- Jones to make third start of season next to Fabinho and Henderson
- Firmino makes return to the attack alongside Salah and Mane
With Firmino the only change, Liverpool would look like this:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Jones; Salah, Mane, Firmino
On the other hand, keeping things fresh could very well still be the priority and new faces in each department would not come as a surprise for the sixth game in 16 days:
- Gomez and Tsimikas to replace Van Dijk and Robertson
- Milner to take Henderson’s place alongside Fabinho and Jones
- A return for Firmino with Origi taking his place in attack with Salah
- Leaves likes of Jota, Mane and Henderson as options from the bench
It would see the Reds shape up like this:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Milner, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Origi
Liverpool have shown either XI will be strong enough to get the desired result but it would come as no shock if he opted for a handful of changes with another game to contend with before the international break – against Man City no less.
And while Porto have conceded just four goals so far this season, the Reds have put away three goals in six of their eight matches – including the last five in a row.
It’s just about tightening up the defensive side of their game after it was exposed over the weekend.