After making his return to action against Napoli last week, Thiago is in contention to start Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Ajax on Tuesday, but Andy Robertson is the latest player to pick up an injury.
That may not have come at the worst time, with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad still depleted by injuries, including a new problem for Andy Robertson, and it’ll be interesting to see who lines up against the Dutch champions at Anfield.
After an embarrassing defeat in Naples, Klopp suggested it was time for his side to “reinvent themselves,” which makes his team selection for Ajax all the more intriguing.
Unsurprisingly, Thiago made a big difference to Liverpool’s midfield when he came on for the last half an hour against Napoli, and there’s every chance he’ll now be thrown in from the start.
Here, we look at two ways the Reds could line up against Ajax.
From Klopp’s pre-match press conference on Monday, we know the following:
- Andy Robertson out until after international break at earliest
- Curtis Jones still still absent, along with likes of Ibrahima Konate, Jordan Henderson & Naby Keita
- Fabio Carvalho back in training and will be available
Liverpool’s XI vs. Ajax
Could this be the XI Klopp decides to go with?
- Matip & Tsimikas in for Gomez & Robertson
- Thiago to replace Milner in midfield
- Salah alongside Diaz & Nunez up top
If those are the changes, this would be the Reds XI:
There is, however, the possibility of further changes, especially with Klopp’s admission that his team needed to offer something different after Napoli.
Given that statement, some may feel that a change of system could be on the cards, but Ajax’s style of play and tendency to try and dominate games in midfield may mean the Liverpool boss is reluctant to move away from his usual 4-3-3 formation.
In attack, with the likes of Nunez and Diogo Jota back in the mix, is now the time to hand Salah a rest?
If Klopp opted to take the Egyptian out, the team could look like this:
- Alexander-Arnold & Tsimikas as the full-backs
- Thiago in for Milner
- Jota to replace Salah on the right side of the attack
That would see Liverpool line up as follows:
There’s every chance the team to play this game would have looked different had Liverpool’s clash with Wolves gone ahead as planned on Saturday.
The Reds have never lost their opening two group matches in European competition, and it was clear after the defeat to Napoli that something needed to change.
For those reasons, the lineup to face Ajax may be Klopp’s most intriguing team selection of the season so far.