LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 3, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Predicting Liverpool’s lineup vs. Brighton as Mane wrestles back spot from Jota

There are some welcome selection dilemmas for Jurgen Klopp for the visit of Brighton, with his midfield options boosted by one and four in-form attackers at his disposal.

The Reds’ thumping of Man United did not come without cost with both James Milner and Naby Keita sustaining injuries, but Liverpool have been “lucky” with the latter.

It could have been a lot worse but Keita is to be in the mix at Anfield in what will be another game with wholesale changes following the mid-week League Cup win at Brighton.

The Seagulls arrive without a win in their last five games but remain in fifth place in the Premier League, and their win on Liverpool’s home turf last season is warning enough for Klopp and co.

Here’s how Liverpool could lineup against Brighton.


Team News

There was a mixed injury update on Keita, Fabinho and Thiago from Klopp on Friday:

  • Keita “looks good” and will be ready for Brighton
  • Thiago back in training but “doesn’t mean he is ready to play a football game”
  • Fabinho‘s knock to the knee is “complicated enough to keep him out” again
  • Milner and Elliott remain in the treatment room


Liverpool’s XI vs. Brighton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 3, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What that does to team selection is open up the door for Keita to slot into midfield once more in what would be his third league start in a row.

It means Klopp can field a somewhat settled lineup to seek out the seventh league win of the campaign:

  • Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Robertson start with Matip backing up from midweek
  • Henderson to continue his role as the No. 6 in absence of Fabinho
  • Jones retained from Preston with Keita sitting alongside
  • After a well-earned break, Mane returns to the XI next to Salah and Firmino

It would see the Reds lineup like this:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Jones, Keita; Mane, Salah, Firmino

On the other hand, there is scope for Klopp to make a few changes despite resting the majority of his senior figures for the League Cup victory.

While Keita will be the likely selection if fully fit, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be out for more minutes to find his rhythm with midfield options having taken a hit:

  • Konate to keep league place to see back five retained from Old Trafford
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain to start in a midfield trio with Henderson and Jones
  • Jota keeps Firmino out this time around with Mane and Salah as company

Liverpool would then shape up like this:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mane, Salah, Jota

The first lineup shapes up as the likeliest option but it would not be a surprise to see further rotation at centre-back whether that be for Matip or Van Dijk, with Konate having more than proven himself against United.

Klopp spoke of how having options at his disposal as a welcome headache and with two more games to follow in the eight days that follow full-time, he will not be afraid to utilise them.