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Liverpool lineup vs. Arsenal – 2 key changes with Darwin Nunez call to make

Jurgen Klopp is set to make a change at right-back for Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal, while Liverpool’s medical staff could force another in attack.

The Reds head to north London this weekend looking to cement themselves at the top of the Premier League with a healthy lead over Arsenal and Man City.

It is being billed as a tough clash for Klopp’s side, but they arrive at the Emirates in exceptional form, particularly after blowing Chelsea away at Anfield.

Klopp’s squad is growing in numbers, too, as players return from injury, giving the manager what he described as a “luxury problem” in his pre-match press conference.

So how should Liverpool line up against Arsenal?

 

Team News

After Klopp’s press conference, Liverpool’s training session on Friday revealed the following:

That leaves only Mo Salah (hamstring), Joel Matip (ACL), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Ben Doak (MCL) out, with Wataru Endo returning from the Asian Cup next week.

Sad news later emerged, however, that Conor Bradley‘s father passed away on Saturday morning, per the Belfast Telegraph, almost certainly ruling the right-back out of contention.

Liverpool squad in training on Friday

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Mrozek

Defenders: Van Dijk, Konate, Gomez, Quansah, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tsimikas, Bradley*

Midfielders: Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Jones, Thiago, Gravenberch, Elliott, McConnell, Clark

Forwards: Jota, Nunez, Diaz, Gakpo, Gordon

* Expected to miss out on compassionate grounds.

 

Liverpool’s XI vs. Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 7, 2024: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates their side's openimg goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With a relatively healthy turnaround between Wednesday night and Sunday evening, the likelihood is that Klopp deploys his strongest possible side at the Emirates.

Following the sad news of Bradley’s father passing, Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to come back in.

With Andy Robertson being eased in after months out – with just 54 minutes over two appearances since returning – the outstanding Joe Gomez should be kept at left-back.

Klopp’s final decision could be left to the medical staff, as if Nunez is able to start as his involvement in training suggests, he will likely do so.

The most realistic scenario would be:

  • Alexander-Arnold to take over from Bradley
  • Gomez to be retained over Robertson at left-back
  • Rest of XI unchanged with Nunez available

That would see Liverpool line up like this:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones; Jota, Diaz, Nunez


However, if Nunez is not deemed fit enough to start as he manages the pain in his foot, Klopp could be required to bring in another attacker.

The obvious change would be to introduce Cody Gakpo, who like Diogo Jota has proved capable of playing in every role across the forward line.

With no other alterations expected, Liverpool could line up as below:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones; Gakpo, Diaz, Jota


Despite the increase in options available to Klopp, it is fairly straightforward when it comes to predicting how Liverpool will line up against Arsenal.

The real benefit could come with his ability to change the game from the bench, giving the Reds a better chance of taking all three points – and the edge in the title race.