The stakes continue to rise for Liverpool and it’s no different against Arsenal with another opportunity to take advantage of a Man City slip up, and Jurgen Klopp has options aplenty.
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
Premier League (29) | The Emirates
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 | 8.15pm (GMT)
The Reds made it eight straight victories in the league with their 2-0 win at Brighton over the weekend, piling on the pressure that they can now take advantage of.
With Pep Guardiola’s side held to a 0-0 draw on Monday, another three points at the Emirates will move Liverpool to within just a single point of the league leaders after 29 games.
But Klopp knows “we are still four points behind” and that “you can’t count before and now think it’s only one point,” with the job needing to be completed on the pitch, not off it.
With plenty at stake, here’s how the Reds could line up on Wednesday evening.
There was welcome news regarding Mohamed Salah after he offered a rare injury scare at Brighton, decision now to be made on his involvement at the Emirates:
- “Looks like” Salah will be involved; to train on Tuesday
- Konate back in the mix after missing the last two games
- But Milner and Tsimikas both out due to illness
- Squad otherwise fit and available
Liverpool’s XI vs. Arsenal
With more than four days between the last game and the next, a number of changes are unlikely with only a tweak to the XI to inject some fresh legs.
Salah has proven an incredible level of durability and availability and his place could be kept held of, with Thiago the one to force a change on his return to the XI:
- Matip remains next to Van Dijk in unchanged backline
- Thiago returns to league XI in only change; next to Fabinho and Henderson
- Salah could be passed fit to start with Diaz and Jota alongside
- Firmino an option off the bench having yet to play after injury
That would see the XI set up like this:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Diaz, Jota
The Reds could easily err on the side of caution with Salah, however, with the firepower they have enabling them to call upon the No. 11 from the bench if needed.
And after an impressive run on the left of midfield, Naby Keita certainly warrants keeping his place in the side:
- Alisson and back four remain in place
- Keita to retain place in midfield; could even be a place for ‘dream’ midfield
- And Jota to lead from the front with Mane on the right, Diaz on his left
Those changes see the Reds shape up like this:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Keita; Mane, Diaz, Jota
With a long list of options, there is even the possibility that Klopp could turn to a midfield trio of Fabinho, Keita and Thiago – although, it has never been a decision made from the start.
Nevertheless, Liverpool have all the firepower necessary and the break between games helps the accumulative fatigue that has been building up, but there can be no underestimating Arsenal.
A win is paramount in the final league game before the international break.