This week, the Reds will play in front of a full Anfield for the first time in Europe since the meeting with Atletico Madrid in March 2020.
That night saw fans from both England and Spain pack out the stadium in questionable circumstances, with a rise in COVID-19 cases on Merseyside deemed to have stemmed from the decision to allow travelling Atletico supporters to attend.
Now, with restrictions eased, UEFA has granted access to AC Milan fans for the tie – though ultras group Curva Sud have vowed not to attend due to difficulties in terms of travel and “the rigid English rules around COVID-19.”
Anfield is expected to be full, or near full, regardless, with the occasion a significant one for Liverpool as they look to make a strong start to their European campaign.
On a run of four games unbeaten so far this season – with three wins and a draw, scoring nine times and conceding just once – there can be confidence among Klopp’s squad.
But how will the manager set his side up for Wednesday’s Group B opener?
There was one major development in terms of injuries at the weekend, but Klopp also has a number of other doubts for the tie:
- Harvey Elliott sidelined for the long-term after ankle surgery
- Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino still unlikely due to injuries
- Neco Williams also set to miss out; Conor Bradley trained in his absence
- James Milner could be involved having returned to training
Liverpool’s XI vs. AC Milan
Realistically, if no further problems arise from training or following the win at Leeds, there is only one lineup Klopp will look to.
It would mean just one change from the trip to Elland Road, that being enforced due to Elliott’s injury:
- Alisson behind Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson
- Jordan Henderson to come in alongside Fabinho and Thiago
- Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota in attack
That would see Liverpool take to the field like this:
However, there is a small chance the manager mixes things up slightly, with the obvious point of contention being in midfield.
Thiago could drop out to accommodate one of those four after his first start of the season, but given his level of performance against Leeds and his experience, it seems likely the Spaniard will be retained.
In fact, it would be a surprise if Liverpool’s teamsheet was anything other than the above when it is released just over an hour before kickoff.