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Predicting the Liverpool lineup vs. Man United as Klopp weighs up Jones return

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After another morale-boosting victory in midweek at Atletico Madrid and five days to prepare, Jurgen Klopp knows he doesn’t have to make too many changes but could Curtis Jones return?

Liverpool’s midfield options have taken a hit throughout the season so far but Jones’ return to training after a groin injury is a welcome boost ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.

The 20-year-old had seized his chance prior to the international break having shown off his ever-growing maturity and what he is capable of with a goal and three assists.

Jones offers Klopp another choice for his midfield against Man United and with his name in contention, there is a decision to be made.

Here’s how Liverpool could line up at Man United on Sunday.

 

Team News

There was positive news for Liverpool’s No. 17 but continued frustration over Thiago with his seven-game absence set for a further extension:

  • Jones back in contention after taking a full part in team training
  • Thiago back running but remains a notable absentee alongside Elliott
  • Tuesday-Sunday schedule makes for less need to rotate

 

Liverpool’s XI vs. Man United

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, October 19, 2021: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino (L) and Diogo Jota (R) celebrate after the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 3 game between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. Liverpool won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Klopp having noted that “we don’t have to think about” the intensity of a Tuesday-Sunday fixture list, there could be only one or two tweaks to the side that won in Madrid.

This would mean the manager is likely to field his strongest possible lineup at a ground that he has emerged victorious from only once before.

And once again, all eyes will be on his midfield selection with Jones back in the mix and Naby Keita having been a half-time casualty at Atletico.

So here’s what the team selection could look like:

That would see Liverpool lineup like this:

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


On the other hand, it could be a case of Fabinho as the only change in midfield with fresh legs then injected into the attack to help keep up the incredible goalscoring feats on the road.

And while there are options at centre-back in Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate, those changes will come against Preston on Wednesday with disruption in defence not required against United:

  • The back five to remain unchanged
  • Keita to hold onto his place with Fabinho replacing Milner
  • Jota to lead the line after two games named on the bench, taking over from Firmino

Those tweaks would see the XI shape up like this:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Salah, Mane, Jota


Fabinho back into the XI is the obvious certainty, with the question mark then over Jones and Keita with James Milner consequently overlooked after two successive starts.

The midfield battle will be key at Old Trafford and with United known to vacate space between the lines, one would assume that Firmino would then be the ideal choice to exploit that weakness.

It’s not been a happy hunting ground of late but a win on Sunday would mark another significant step toward reaching Liverpool’s goals for the season.

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