Liverpool host Porto in what is a dead rubber for Jurgen Klopp‘s side, but with a notable injury list and mass changes not in the reckoning, who could we expect to start?
The Reds will be back under the Anfield lights in midweek to meet Porto, with both teams heading into the matchup in contrasting positions in Group B.
Liverpool are guaranteed group winners while the Portuguese outfit are fighting it out with Atletico Madrid for second position.
While many would wish to see Liverpool make sweeping changes to the XI, Klopp has already said it’s not on the cards and the injury situation will do little to change his mind.
“Can you imagine we play against Porto at home, the crowd is really coming in from all over the world to watch the game, and you offer a half-cooked dish?” the manager said.
So with mass changes off the table, here are five Reds who could be handed a start in the penultimate group game.
Starting at the back, Ibrahima Konate is the obvious inclusion but the question is will it be for Joel Matip or Virgil van Dijk.
The latter seems a more sensible move after his 180 minutes with the Netherlands was immediately backed up with 90 against Arsenal, while Matip was afforded a break during international action.
Konate’s last start was against Brighton on a day where the Reds did not shine defensively.
Time with Wales shone the spotlight on Neco Williams before muscle tightness was cited as his absence from the matchday squad over the weekend.
Recover in time and it would be a wise decision to ease the playing load on Trent Alexander-Arnold, not to mention a valuable opportunity for him to build on his impressive outing at Preston.
“It’s all about pushing. That’s what he’s doing, so he’s not doing anything wrong. Then it’s about opportunity coming up,” Klopp said of Williams last week.
Rounding off the defensive changes could be Andy Robertson should he firstly pass as fit after returning from Scotland duty with a minor injury.
It is anticipated that he will and it would, of course, see Kostas Tsimikas drop out to accommodate the No. 26.
After a mixed season to date, the match could be needed to get Robertson back in some rhythm.
Fresh from his maiden Premier League appearance, Morton could yet make it a trifecta of competition debuts and he would be more than worthy of a start.
It would be akin to the chance Leighton Clarkson received against Midtjylland last season.
The 19-year-old could allow for Fabinho to rest his legs ahead of a tough run of fixtures.
Minamino is in line to get the minutes Klopp spoke of after his first Anfield goal, with this the ideal chance to build on his confidence.
His only starts this season have come in the League Cup and with question marks over Diogo Jota following the knock to his knee, Minamino can prove to be a more than adequate replacement.
The No. 18 was similarly called upon for the dead rubber trip to Midtjylland, but Liverpool will hope it can act as a launching pad this time around.