Liverpool lineup vs. Aston Villa – Nunez, Gakpo or Jota up front?

Aston Villa are the visitors this weekend and Jurgen Klopp has a big decision to make in his forward line.

The Reds have made a promising start to 2023/24 despite a tricky set of opening fixtures and will be hoping to make it 10 points from a possible 12 on Sunday afternoon.

The trip to Newcastle saw the manager make the first tweaks to his starting 11 so far this season and there are more options for further changes on this occasion.

It was mixed news on the fitness front as Klopp addressed the media ahead of the clash, with one midfielder’s return to training offset by a further setback to another.

Here’s how Liverpool could line up.


Team news

Here’s what the manager has told us:

  • Thiago has suffered a “little setback” and won’t be available
  • Curtis Jones is in contention having returned to “training fully”
  • Ibrahima Konate remains out, but has been called up by France


Liverpool’s XI vs. Aston Villa

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 27, 2023: Liverpool's two-goal hero Darwin Núñez celebrates at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It would take a brave man to leave out Darwin Nunez after his heroics at St. James’ Park handed the Reds all three points last weekend.

The Uruguayan is yet to start this season having been restricted to three substitute appearances but will almost certainly be in the manager’s thoughts following his late brace.

Elsewhere, Liverpool will have to plan for life without their skipper as Virgil van Dijk serves a suspension for his red card against the Magpies.

A headache for Klopp, but here’s what he could go with:

  • Nunez to replace Cody Gakpo as the focal point of the attack
  • Joe Gomez to come in for the suspended Van Dijk
  • Midfield remains unchanged from the trip to Newcastle

This is how Liverpool would line up:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister; Salah, Diaz, Nunez

While it would be a big call to leave Nunez out, it would also be a tough decision to drop Gakpo given his intelligent play across both midfield and up front this season.

The Dutchman has yet to score for the Reds in 2023/24 and will be keen to get off the mark sooner rather than later.

Diogo Jota will also have his eye on a starting berth, but the competition for places is fierce with all five of Klopp’s forwards currently fully fit.

Instead, we might look something like this:

  • Gakpo to keep his place at centre-forward
  • Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah to accompany him in the front three
  • Unchanged midfield with Gomez in at the back

The alternative Reds lineup:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Endo, Szoboszlai, Mac Allister; Salah, Diaz, Nunez

The big decisions are at the top of the pitch this weekend as Liverpool’s embarrassment of attacking riches give Klopp plenty to ponder.

New signing Ryan Gravenberch wasn’t registered in time to feature on Sunday, meaning that the midfield will almost certainly remain unchanged barring any injuries.

Van Dijk and Konate’s absence leaves the Reds short at the back, but Gomez will be hoping to build upon his assured performance on Tyneside.

Whichever way Liverpool set up, let’s hope it is another big performance en route to three more crucial points.

Up the Reds!