Liverpool travel to Southampton on Saturday with some problems – here’s our predicted XI for the clash.
Goalkeeper – Adrian
What a bizarre situation. Hopefully, Adrian, a goalkeeper released from West Ham United this summer, will start for Liverpool. There’s a sentence nobody expected two weeks ago.
But then, he wasn’t even a Liverpool player two weeks ago. As things stand, it sounds like he might be okay after being injured by a fan. We’re expecting him to be in goal with Andy Lonergan on the bench.
Back four – Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson
Alexander-Arnold only played in extra-time against Chelsea and you’d expect him to return to the starting XI here. Especially as, really, he’s the only fit option we have outside the four who did start.
Gomez is likely to miss out. He played the entire game, covering both full-back positions. Given he also started against Norwich and Manchester City, it makes sense he gets a rest. Matip, who started for the first time in midweek, would keep his place.
As for the other two, there isn’t exactly much cover. Both should start.
Midfield three – Adam Lallana, Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner
A tough one. Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have started all three games and both played 120 minutes in midweek. Surely they are being rested here? For one thing, Fabinho looked exhausted against Chelsea.
Wijnaldum ended up playing half an hour longer than planned, thanks to extra-time. While Milner left the pitch for the Dutchman after an hour.
Both could play here and be okay, you’d expect. Lallana is a wildcard, however, and this could easily be Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain instead.
But this might be a decent chance to try Lallana out in a deeper role. Regardless, the midfield needs some rotation, no matter who comes in.
Front three – Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah
Well, everywhere else is shrouded in doubt over fitness and freak injuries. You’d expect the front-three to counter that by going full strength, tried and true.
We saw against Chelsea just how good the trio are together (as if we needed reminding) and on account of Salah never wanting a rest, you’d think all will start. The other two, thankfully, have been given rests already.
Southampton v Liverpool – predicted XI
Alexander-Arnold – Matip – Van Dijk – Robertson
Wijnaldum – Lallana – Milner
Salah – Firmino – Mane