Liverpool begin the 2023/24 season with a difficult game at Chelsea, and there are plenty of places up for grabs.
The start of a new season usually brings optimism and excitement. This is largely true this time around too however, a lingering sense of restlessness remains in the fanbase.
The Reds can ease that tension with a win on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Unless you’ve been consigned to the wilderness for the last few days, you’ll know battles are concurrently being fought with Chelsea off the pitch.
It is finally time for the real stuff, though, and we just can’t wait to get going!
Understandably, the focus wasn’t around team news for Klopp in his pre-match press conference.
However, here is what we do know:
- Thiago is back in training but not yet match fit
- The same goes for Stefan Bajcetic who has been out since March
- Conor Bradley is a doubt to a minor injury, but likely wouldn’t be in the squad regardless
Liverpool’s XI vs. Chelsea
Liverpool’s squad is actually smaller this season but there is a new energy around it.
Pre-season has offered some hints as to how the Reds will line up, but much is still to be decided as Liverpool try to bring in a holding midfielder.
What we do know is that Klopp is sticking with the new 3-4-3 formation when the Reds have the ball.
Bearing in mind clues from pre-season, this is how Liverpool will likely start.
- Cody Gakpo to drop into midfield due to Alexis Mac Allister filling the No. 6 position next to Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Diogo Jota gets the nod up front ahead of Darwin Nunez
- This accommodates Luis Diaz to play on the left with Mo Salah on the opposite flank
This is how Liverpool would line up:
Alisson; Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Alexander-Arnold, Mac Allister, Gakpo, Szoboszlai; Salah, Jota, Diaz
As it is the first game of the season, it is difficult to know exactly what Klopp will do.
At times in pre-season, we also saw Jones feature in defensive midfield and the manager talked up his ability to play there.
This would allow Mac Allister and Gakpo to play their more natural positions, but would also mean dropping an attacker.
While the defence has flattered to deceive over the summer, there isn’t much doubt about the Reds’ strongest setup in that department.
- Jones starts with Alexander-Arnold in an all-Scouse double pivot
- Gakpo moves to the false nine where he was beginning to excel last season
- A tough decision between Diaz and Jota; we’ve gone for the Colombian here.
Here is how this alternate team would look:
Alisson; Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Alexander-Arnold, Jones, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Salah, Gakpo, Daiz
Whichever team starts, it will likely be an open game at Stamford Bridge with both teams still to find their best XI.
It is a pattern that could continue as Liverpool will excite this season, but not always win.