For the first time since September, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp lost a game of football and it is a feeling supporters haven’t become accustomed too other the previous 18 months following so much unprecedented success.
Luckily for Kopites, not too far around the corner is the opportunity for the Premier League champions-elect to put that right as they prepare to host West Ham United on Monday night.
Liverpool’s return to top-flight action is the perfect distraction following the 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid earlier this week. The Reds are just five league wins from mathematically confirming themselves as Premier League champions for the first time in the club’s history.
Ahead of the clash, manager Klopp indicated that despite the gruelling demands of a midweek trip to the Spanish capital, the six-day gap in-between the two fixtures has provided enough rest time to not be too concerned with making wholesale changes.
Speaking in his Friday afternoon press conference, Klopp admitted the club had more time to prepare for their PL duties than usual and this could indicate only a couple of alterations to the team that was defeated in Madrid.
He said: “I could [make changes] because apart from Hendo all of the boys are fit. But Tuesday – Monday there is absolutely no need to do it. There is enough time, that’s longer than we usually have. We will see who will start and will make more changes but not because of the Atletico game”.
The only player confirmed unavailable for the Anfield fixture on Monday is club-captain Jordan Henderson. The 29-year-old skipper left the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium towards the end of the European affair and was seen leaving the stadium limping through the mixed zone on the way to the team coach.
This could see either Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Naby Keita rewarded with a place in the starting line-up in three days time. Both players were included in Klopp’s XI during the Reds’ 1-0 victory over Norwich at the weekend and either would be an adequate replacement for Henderson.
Predicted line-up to face West Ham: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keita; Mane, Salah, Firmino.