Liverpool open their Premier League campaign for 2017/18 with an away trip to Vicarage Road but how will they line up for the fixture?
Liverpool open their Premier League campaign for 2017/18 with an away trip to Vicarage Road but with regular starters such as Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho missing with injury, Jürgen Klopp is facing some potential selection dilemmas.
Right-back Nathaniel Clyne is also among the casualties as he still hasn’t recovered from back pain while Daniel Sturridge will be another couple of days as he continues his rehabilitation from a thigh injury sustained against Bayern Munich.
Formation – 433
As much as I’m excited to see what alternative systems Klopp opts to employ this season, I personally think he’ll just go tried and tested for this game.
He might play Gini in the ’10’ and go for a 4231 but I’m leaning towards him sticking to the system that’s been so good for us of late.
Goalkeeper – Simon Mignolet
Toughest one to call honestly but with Liverpool unlikely to be doing huge amounts of counter-attacking, Karius’ distribution won’t be needed. So with that in mind, I’ve gone for Mignolet.
In my honest opinion, the Belgian deserves to hold his place after his good form late last season and he barely put a foot wrong in pre-season either.
Back four – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joël Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno
Nathaniel Clyne is out injured so logic says it’s likely to be ‘TAA’ who comes in for the Englishman and realistically, while I’d have had us sign a centre back to replace Lovren already, he and Matip are the best central defensive partnership we have available.
Left back’s where it gets tough to predict.
Andy Robertson is said to not quite be up to speed with the system just yet while James Milner looked sluggish in his more recent pre-season outings. I can’t believe I’m saying this but form-wise, Alberto Moreno will probably start this game.
Midfield – Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Gini Wijnaldum
If Adam Lallana or Philippe Coutinho were fit, then one of the two would undoubtedly fit into this trio somehow – personally I’d have them in at the expense of Can but as it stands, Lallana is injured and Coutinho is well… injured or sulking. Up to you.
The issue with this midfield is the lack of real creative spark and despite Wijnaldum’s ability to create chances when he’s on form, he doesn’t possess quite the same knack of picking the lock of a defence as either Lallana or Coutinho do.
Hopefully, the extra defensive solidity that Henderson and Can are capable of providing will give the front three license to get forward and see Wijnaldum break the shackles a little more as he searches for his first away goal in the Premier League.
Front three – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané
Probably the easiest part of the team to predict.
This will undoubtedly be Klopp’s first choice front three for the entirety of this campaign.
It boasts goals, assists, pace, skill, flair and all three are superb in the press. What more could he ask for?