LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) celebrates with team-mate Virgil van Dijk after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Expected Liverpool lineup vs. Newcastle with Virgil van Dijk to return

Liverpool’s starting lineup for their trip to Newcastle is fairly easy to predict, with only one change likely to be made at St James’ Park on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp admits the Reds are facing a “massive game” at the weekend, with a chance to make it back-to-back wins for the first time since December.

After an emphatic win over Everton on Monday night, Liverpool head to Tyneside looking to overcome a Newcastle side who are, though unbeaten in 17 games, plateauing in the Premier League.

A strong squad is set to travel to the north east, and Klopp could face big decisions when it comes to who starts and who drops out.

Here is how Liverpool can be expected to line up vs. Newcastle.


Team news

Klopp gave a fairly comprehensive fitness update in his pre-match press conference, revealing:


Liverpool’s XI vs. Newcastle

Matchday - Virgil van Dijk walks out at Anfield (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With that in mind, and with Klopp full of praise for both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in his preview, there is only one likely lineup for Saturday night.

That should bring just one change, with Van Dijk returning to take one of two centre-back spots.

There is a case to argue for either Joe Gomez or Joel Matip dropping out, with Van Dijk building strong partnerships with both at one point or another.

But on the basis of the Merseyside derby, it seems more likely that Matip will be cut, with the 31-year-old arguably the worst performer in an otherwise impressive team display all round.

Van Dijk has not started alongside Gomez since the 3-1 win over Southampton on November 12 – a game in which both stood strong – with this an opportunity to reprise a successful pairing from previous seasons.

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Bajcetic; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez

There are other options to consider, with Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott options in the midfield and the configuration of Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez still up in the air, but the lineup appears set.

The hope will be that consistency in personnel – with the introduction of a world-class defender – will allow Liverpool to build on their victory over Everton.

Doing so, and taking three points, would see the Reds move to within six of fourth-placed Newcastle with a game in hand.