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2 Liverpool lineups vs. Newcastle as Ibrahima Konate gets latest chance

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Ibrahima Konate is likely to be one of those to come into the side as Liverpool host Newcastle on Thursday night, with Jurgen Klopp mindful of changes for the weekend.

The Reds take on Newcastle and Tottenham in the space of four days this week, having been given a four-day break after the 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Anfield.

It will almost certainly, then, see Klopp rotate his side across the two games, and there is cause to argue that more changes can be expected against the Magpies.

Eddie Howe’s side remain in a difficult period, with only one win from their last four fixtures, sitting 19th in the Premier League and 27 points behind Liverpool.

But as Klopp will be wary of underestimating Newcastle, how could the Reds line up?

 

Team news

From Klopp’s pre-match press conference and an interview with the club’s official website, we know the following:

 

Liverpool’s XI vs. Newcastle

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 11, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with Andy Robertson after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With “no new injuries” to consider, Klopp finds himself in the luxury position of being able to make a number of changes while still naming a strong side.

Bar the use of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a No. 9, the manager effectively fielded his strongest possible XI against Villa at the weekend, with Jota not deemed fit enough to start.

But alterations could now be made, including a return to the starting lineup for Jota:

With three changes – Konate, Tsimikas and Jota in for Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Thiago – Liverpool could line up like this:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Mane, Jota


The manager may opt for more consistency in his defence, however, instead looking to the League Cup quarter-final against Leicester next week as his opportunity to make more changes.

If that is the case, Robertson could be one of those retained, while Klopp has other options to consider in midfield:

  • Konate the only change in defence from Villa win
  • Naby Keita alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson as alternative to Ox
  • Jota the likely starter despite Firmino’s return to fitness

This could see Liverpool take to the field as below:

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


There could even be opportunities for the likes of Joe Gomez, Tyler Morton and Takumi Minamino at Anfield, but it seems more likely these will come in the cup.

Instead, Liverpool can be expected to go strong against both Newcastle and Tottenham, with Klopp making careful tweaks to his side to ensure freshness as the festive schedule ensues.

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