All eyes are on Jurgen Klopp’s lineup as Liverpool host Bournemouth this Saturday. Several players return from injury as the Reds look to get back on track.
Klopp spoke to the press on Friday afternoon, confirming that three players returned to full training since Monday.
“Trent [Alexander-Arnold] trained yesterday for the first time and didn’t mention any issues or any problems,” said Klopp, per the Liverpool Echo. “After three-and-half weeks it was his first sessions. We need to see what we do with that.
“Jordan [Henderson] trained yesterday as well for the first time, it’s not that long a break but it was a muscle injury he had, obviously. We need to have another look today.
“Gini [Wijnaldum] trained yesterday completely normal. That’s how it is. I don’t know in the moment, we will have to see.”
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It wasn’t all good news, however, as Klopp confirmed Dejan Lovren’s continued absence.
“Lovren is not available. We work on the Bayern game, you can imagine. But we don’t know exactly.”
The Liverpool boss has some thinking to do as he picks his lineup to face Bournemouth. Everyone expects a return to form after back-to-back draws and the team he picks will play a huge part.
Klopp’s choices at right-back
Right-back will again be Klopp’s biggest headache. He does have more options for the Bournemouth game, though. James Milner could continue, or he could take a gamble on Alexander-Arnold’s fitness.
Alternatively, Fabinho could move to right-back now that Wijnaldum is fit again. That may be the preferred option as Milner doesn’t look quite right there, while gradually getting Alexander-Arnold back to fitness would be preferable.
The midfield decision
Midfield is the other big decision for Klopp. It doesn’t sound like Henderson is 100% and there are plenty of other options – for that reason, he’s likely to miss out.
Then it’s down to two of Wijnaldum, Milner, Fabinho, and Naby Keita. One of the former three may very well play right-back, however.
Keita’s decent showing in the second half against West Ham may have been enough for another chance here. Perhaps a game at home against a side Liverpool typically do well against is exactly what he needs to kick on.
If that’s the case, Wijnaldum’s energy probably be the choice alongside him, with the other two having played on Monday.
As for the front four, Xherdan Shaqiri is due a start and might find some joy against a more open side.
Predicted Liverpool lineup v Bournemouth
Fabinho – Matip – Van Dijk – Robertson
Wijnaldum – Keita
Shaqiri – Firmino – Mane