The visit of Eddie Howe’s Magpies marks the start of a busy period for Liverpool who, for the foreseeable future, will no longer have the luxury of a full week to prepare for their matches.
After such an emphatic win, many would expect Jurgen Klopp to name an unchanged lineup against Newcastle, and while that remains possible, the Liverpool boss knows he must manage the workload of his players in the coming weeks, especially given the club’s extensive injury list.
With that in mind, what could the Reds’ XI look like on Wednesday evening and, if there are changes, who could be in contention to come into the lineup?
From Klopp’s pre-match presser on Tuesday, we know the following:
- Joel Matip and Curtis Jones are back in training
- Diogo Jota, Thiago, Calvin Ramsay and Caoimhin Kelleher all close to return
- No word on Ibrahima Konate, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Kaide Gordon
Liverpool’s XI vs. Newcastle
If a 9-0 victory isn’t enough of a reason for an unchanged lineup, then what is?!
Providing Klopp is happy enough with the fitness of his players, he may be happy enough to stick with the same side that performed so well at Anfield on Saturday.
Darwin Nunez remains suspended, and although the return to fitness of Matip and Jones is a welcome boost, neither seem likely to go straight into the XI at this stage.
If that’s the case, Klopp may ask the same team to go again on Wednesday:
- Joe Gomez to carry on at centre-back
- Harvey Elliott to start again, providing he’s fit enough
- Matip and Jones to boost Klopp’s options on the bench
Could this be the side Klopp goes with again?
Elliott continued his impressive start to the season after curling in his first Premier League goal against the Cherries.
The 19-year-old was, however, withdrawn at half-time, and although Klopp allayed fears over his fitness after the game, Elliott trained away from the rest of his team-mates in Monday’s training session.
If he’s not fully fit, Klopp may look to protect the midfielder ahead of a busy run of games, with Fabio Carvalho proving he’s more than capable of stepping in to that right-sided midfield role on Saturday.
There is, of course, the option of switching Henderson and Carvalho around, but given the much-improved performance at the weekend, the boss may want to keep things fairly similar.
If Klopp is considering making changes, the team to face Newcastle could look shape up like this:
- Tsimikas in for Robertson at left-back
- Carvalho to make first start
- Elliott to miss out due to minor injury concern
That would see Liverpool line up as follows:
With several players getting closer to full fitness, Klopp will be keen to ensure no other players pick up any issues in the coming weeks.
Liverpool’s Champions League campaign gets started next week, and with four more league games crammed into the next three weeks, rotation is definitely on the horizon.
Whether Klopp decides to make changes against Newcastle remains to be seen, but with the visitors struggling with injury problems of their own, let’s hope this turns out to be a good time to face a side who gave Man City real problems earlier this month.