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2 Liverpool lineups vs. Benfica as Klopp considers possibility of 6 changes

Jurgen Klopp is again spoilt for choice as he looks to plot Liverpool’s path into the Champions League semi-finals, but he has hinted that rotation for fresh legs is in order.

The Reds were firmly tested on Sunday and remain firmly in the hunt for the Premier League title, but all eyes are now on what awaits on the European stage.

While Liverpool went all-in at Man City, Benfica could afford to rest key players ahead of their trip to Merseyside and it means fresh legs will be key for Klopp and co.

A 3-1 advantage puts one foot in the semi-finals but Inter Milan provided a recent warning not to take it for granted but you can bet on Anfield to be more than up for the occasion.

Here is how Klopp could set up his side on Wednesday evening.

 

Team News

Liverpool’s squad remains without a member in the treatment room, but that does not mean fresh legs will not come into play at Anfield:

  • “Nobody injured” makes for a fully fit squad for yet another week
  • But Reds “need to have a look at who is fresh enough for this game”
  • 12-man bench can be named and five substitutions used

 

Liverpool XI vs. Benfica

LISBON, PORTUGAL - Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Liverpool's Naby Keita (R) and Luis Díaz (L) celebrate after the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between SL Benfica and Liverpool FC at the Estádio da Luz. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The manager acknowledged that “the next game has no influence on the lineup for tomorrow night, but the last game has,” meaning changes are certainly on the agenda.

In the hectic schedule throughout February and March, Klopp averaged 5.3 changes per game and he could certainly go below or above that figure.

If we consider the former here, these are the changes that he could look to make:

  • Konate in for Matip in only change to the back five
  • Keita injected into the XI to replicate first leg midfield trio
  • Diaz and Firmino move to the left and centrally, respectively, alongside Salah

This would make for four changes from Sunday’s draw:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk; Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Diaz, Firmino


On the other hand, there could well be six changes to the XI with Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah all handed a breather.

With this the “strongest team” Klopp has ever had, the Reds still have plenty of firepower to see out the tie and make it to the last four of the competition:

  • Tsimikas to replace Robertson as Konate takes over from Matip
  • Henderson drops into No. 6 role and is joined by Keita and Jones
  • Jota takes up the right wing, Diaz the left and Firmino in the centre

Those changes could see Liverpool set up like this:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk; Tsimikas; Henderson, Keita, Jones; Jota, Diaz, Firmino


Klopp knows he has “a bigger squad, high quality, all fit” and it makes for plenty of lineup options, all of which ought to be enough to get the job done.

Benfica are a side that will have nothing to lose but the Reds can afford to look at the bigger picture with a number of their players thanks to the 3-1 lead.

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