With Liverpool’s festive fixtures beginning to come thick and fast, changes should be in line for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
The Reds know they have it in them to compete for the title but it has been relegation-threatened sides against which Klopp’s team have struggled.
Here’s how Liverpool could line up for their match against Sheffield United.
Here’s what Klopp revealed in his press conference:
- Joel Matip‘s knee injury “doesn’t look good”
- Diogo Jota was running outside on Monday, but won’t be fit for Wednesday
- Alisson is “closer, but obviously not available”
Liverpool’s XI vs. Sheffield United
With Liverpool in the middle of a run featuring eight matches in 24 days, rotation from Klopp is inevitable and necessary.
Jota’s absence in attack makes things more straight forward in attack, as it means the impressive Cody Gakpo will almost certainly be awarded a start on Wednesday or Saturday.
Here’s what we expect to happen.
- Curtis Jones replaces Ryan Gravenberch in midfield
- Alexis Mac Allister is rested so Wataru Endo starts his third Premier League game
- Gakpo comes in for Luis Diaz on the left
This is how Liverpool would line up:
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Endo, Szoboszlai, Jones; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo
As it is an away match, we could also see Gomez reprise his role at left-back, like against Luton, with Diaz retaining his left-wing spot.
Darwin Nunez is dropped to the bench in this scenario.
- Gomez starts at left-back with Jones in front for cover
- Gakpo plays through the middle as Diaz remains in the team
- Mac Allister is picked again to start in a strong midfield
Here’s how this alternate team would look:
Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz
Having played Europa League football this season, Liverpool should be well-versed in going out to get a result with different players on the pitch.
With that in mind, Sheffield United shouldn’t pose a problem, especially given there should be fewer changes for this than in Europe.
However, with Chris Wilder returning as manager under the floodlights, we know three points aren’t guaranteed.