Jurgen Klopp has a welcome selection call to make for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, following Roberto Firmino‘s hat-trick at Watford.
Firmino made his first start in six weeks as he took Diogo Jota‘s place in the side at Vicarage Road, and the Brazilian netted three times in the 5-0 win.
Though all of his goals were tap-ins, it was a strong overall display from Firmino that suggests he is raring to go ahead of the return to the Champions League this week.
A choice of strikers is one of many decisions Klopp is faced with when naming his starting lineup for the Group B tie, however, with Man United to come on Sunday.
Here’s how Liverpool could take to the field in Madrid.
While Curtis Jones emerged with the squad for lunchtime training at Kirkby, hopes that he would return for the trip were soon dashed:
- Klopp has confirmed Jones to stay training on Merseyside
- Thiago still out alongside Harvey Elliott
- Alisson and Fabinho both available after missing Watford game
Liverpool’s XI vs. Atletico
It seems highly likely that Klopp will opt for his strongest possible side at the Wanda Metropolitano, avoiding rotation despite the upcoming clash with Man United.
If that is the case, supporters can expect both Alisson and Fabinho to return to the starting lineup, with Caoimhin Kelleher one of those to drop out.
Otherwise, Klopp has one big decision to make with his selection:
- Alisson to replace Kelleher between the sticks
- Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson retained
- Fabinho to replace James Milner in midfield
- Jordan Henderson to shift forwards alongside Naby Keita
- Roberto Firmino to keep his place next to Mo Salah and Sadio Mane
Those changes would see Liverpool line up like this:
However, there is a possibility Klopp makes further changes in the interest of rotation, namely in defence and attack – though another switch could be made in midfield.
Milner, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Diogo Jota are among those who could be considered for a starting spot in Madrid:
- Gomez to replace Matip alongside Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Robertson
- Milner to keep his place in midfield as
- Jota comes in to lead the line despite Firmino’s weekend hat-trick
Those alterations could allow Liverpool to shape up like this:
There is a long break between kickoffs against Atletico and United, however, which would suggest that Klopp can avoid too many changes for two high-profile games.
Firmino’s place is particularly important given his impressive display against Watford, and the No. 9 should be retained at the expense of ex-Atletico forward Jota.