Liverpool will be the last of the Premier League fixtures this match week as they travel to Watford for a Monday night game.
Our defeat to Crystal Palace at Anfield last Sunday sabotaged our top four chances, but results have very much gone our way this weekend and, given our rivals’ upcoming fixtures, we have a massive opportunity to put a Champions League spot – and even automatic qualification – in our hands.
The type of games we’ve lost so far this season, though, suggest that won’t be an easy task.
The reverse fixture back in November saw us play some of our best football of the season in a 6-1 demolition of the Hornets that took us to the top of the table.
A lot has changed since then and we now find ourselves in a fierce battle for a Champions League spot, but this is still a game we should be winning comfortably.
Watford, who have now reached the 40 point mark, have little to play for and could perhaps take a more attacking approach to the game, which would certainly suit us – they tried something like this at Anfield, which ultimately led to such a high scoreline.
A likely alternative, however, is that they play a more defensive style which we have shown time and time again this season that we can’t break down.
Our injury woes are slightly less worrying this week, as Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana make a timely return.
Adam Lallana has been cleared to start and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Sturridge start either. Divock Origi hasn’t exactly been in the best of form in the last few games and this is just the type of fixture in which Daniel could prove very useful.
Despite his errors last week, I expect Klopp to persist with Dejan Lovren (Klavan wouldn’t give me any more confidence, to be honest.)
My biggest uncertainty about the lineup is whether we will stick with the 4-3-3 or opt for a three at the back formation like we saw against Stoke a few weeks ago.
I think the 4-3-3 is the more likely option, so here’s how I predict we’ll line up: Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Jöel Matip, Dejan Lovren, James Milner, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge.
The only other possibility I see with this lineup is that Firmino starts in the middle with Origi on the right. With serious doubt over Daniel Sturridge’s future at the club, though, this would be the perfect game to give him what could end up being his last chance.
Despite the disappointing result last weekend, I’m still optimistic for this game. Our top four rivals have given us an opportunity we have to take, let’s do it!