Photo by JASON CAIRNDUFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Predicted Liverpool XI v Sheffield United, Jota and Matip in, Firmino out

Jurgen Klopp has a number of selection decisions to make ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Sheffield United on Saturday night.

Virgil van Dijk is likely to miss the remainder of the season following an ACL tear against Everton while Thiago Alcantara and Alisson Becker remain fitness concerns.

Klopp will likely continue to utilise his preferred 4-3-3 formation, similar to how he did against Ajax but we anticipate there to be a number of changes to the team that prevailed 1-0 winners in Amsterdam.

For one, the manager recently confirmed that Joel Matip, who missed the trip to Holland, was ‘in contention’ to feature at the weekend after receiving a scan on a muscle problem following the Merseyside derby draw last week.

Matip clocked up his first 90 minutes for the Reds in over 12 months at Goodison Park and could come back into the team at Anfield at the weekend if Klopp deems he is fit enough.

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AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – OCTOBER 21: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Joe Gomez of FC Liverpool, Fabinho of FC Liverpool and Donny van de Beek of Ajax Amsterdam battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Ajax Amsterdam and Liverpool FC at Johan Cruijff Arena on October 21, 2020 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Joe Gomez will likely partner the Cameroonian international following an imperious performance in the heart of defence in midweek with the full-back duo of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold completing the defensive quartet.

 

With Alisson expected to return to first-team action by the end of October, Klopp will probably go with Adrian again on Saturday to avoid the risk of bringing back the Brazilian shot-stopper too early.

Midfield is the real dilemma for Liverpool

Liverpool’s best midfield consists of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara, right?

This was certainly the case last week at Goodison as Liverpool inspired one of their best away performances at the home of their local rivals in years – it really was a tragedy that Klopp and his team didn’t make the short trip back across Stanley Park with all three points in-tact.

The injury to Thiago complicates matters for Klopp although Georginio Wijnaldum’s impressive display against Ajax will reassure supporters that the Dutchman is more than a capable replacement to fill the void left by the Spaniard.

This is another game where Klopp will have to utilise his squad carefully, and given the recent performances of Roberto Firmino, we predict that it is time for the manager to make a tough call with his attacking triumvirate.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – OCTOBER 21: Diogo Jota of Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League Group D stage match between Ajax Amsterdam and Liverpool FC at Johan Cruijff Arena on October 21, 2020 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino were both hugely impressive off the bench in Amsterdam and both have demonstrated that they are worthy of an opportunity in the starting XI. We are going with the former to start on this particular occasion.

With Firmino, Minamino, Curtis Jones and hopefully Naby Keita on the bench, Liverpool have numerous options to change things up if needs be.

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