Liverpool lineup vs. Newcastle – Konate to miss out with injury?

A trip to St. James’ Park is up next for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp has a number of potential options for changes to his starting 11.

The Reds did the double over Newcastle last season but ultimately fell short of catching them in fourth spot, missing out on a place in the Champions League for the first time since 2016.

Klopp named an unchanged side for the opening home game of the campaign against Bournemouth but could be set to make the first tweaks to his team this weekend.

The boss gave us news of an injury blow at the back as he addressed the media ahead of the trip, something that could see him have to choose between two of his fringe defenders.

Here’s how Liverpool could line up.


Team news

Here’s what the manager has told us ahead of the clash:


Liverpool’s XI vs. Newcastle

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 13, 2023: Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Konate’s latest injury makes life difficult for the manager’s defensive selections, with either Joel Matip or Joe Gomez expected to fill in should the Frenchman miss out.

If Matip getsthe nod, the Reds would line up with the same back four that started the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid over four years ago.

Liverpool’s successful appeal against Mac Allister’s suspension does however make things simpler as far as the midfield is concerned.

The unchanged side in the first two games saw Cody Gakpo feature in behind a front three of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah, but Wataru Endo‘s arrival could free up space for Gakpo to return to the forward line.

It is a tricky one this weekend, but Liverpool could look something like this:

  • Gomez to replace the injured Konate alongside Virgil van Dijk
  • Endo to make his first start as the holding midfielder
  • Gakpo starts as a centre-forward, with Mac Allister moving up to No. 8

This is how Liverpool would line up:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz

While he hasn’t trained since Tuesday, Konate hasn’t been completely ruled out of action and would be likely to feature if he was deemed fit enough.

The Reds also have a number of options up front and Darwin Nunez will be keen to replicate his goal at St. James’ last season in what would be his first start of 2023/24.

As a result, we could instead see something like this:

  • Konate to keep his place at centre-back
  • Nunez to lead the line in place of Jota through the middle
  • Diaz and Salah to remain out wide in the front three

Here’s how the different set-up would look:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Endo, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai; Salah, Nunez, Diaz

It hasn’t been an easy start as far as away trips are concerned, but the 2-0 win on Tyneside in February should give the Reds belief that they are capable of producing another big result.

Klopp has plenty to ponder ahead of the trip to Newcastle, but the wealth of attacking options mean Liverpool should have more than enough firepower to give the Magpies problems.

Up the Reds!