The international break isn’t quite over, but we can’t wait any longer to start looking ahead to the return of club football.
Liverpool take on Premier League leaders Leicester City at home on Sunday evening and Jurgen Klopp has a lot of big decisions to make.
The Reds are looking to maintain their unbeaten run which stretches to four league matches since that embarrassing 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa in September.
There are a couple of factors to bear in mind at this early stage heading into the fixture.
1) Liverpool have players who have rested at Melwood and the new AXA Training Centre in Kirkby for the last fortnight, and some who have played two or three matches around the world on international duty. This will play a part in team selection.
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2) Liverpool have an important home fixture just days later against Atalanta in the Champions League. The same XI which starts against Leicester will not start this match.
With that said, Liverpool are already nursing a number of injury setbacks with two or three players still awaiting further assessment so the Reds manager isn’t exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to his selection process.
According to The Mail, Joel Matip and Nathaniel Phillips, who both remained on Merseyside during the break, are expected to start together in the heart of central defence.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is unavailable following a calf problem against Manchester City leaving Neco Williams or James Milner as viable cover at right-back.
We are going with the latter on this occasion when you consider Milner will have benefited from a substantial rest period while the former was away on national team duty with Wales.
Meanwhile, Andy Robertson was previously a fitness concern, however, he did start and play the full 90 minutes for Scotland last night during the 1-0 defeat to Israel which would suggest to Klopp that he is in contention to feature against Leicester.
In midfield, Georginio Wijnaldum and Naby Keita represent Klopp’s best available naturally suited midfield options while Xherdan Shaqiri can also be utilised in the manager’s midfield triumvirate.
Jordan Henderson could still feature although given the uncertain extent of his back problem sustained with England, it is unlikely the manager will risk the club-captain unless he is 100 per cent fit.
Mohamed Salah is guarenteed not to be involved having tested positive for COVID-19 again on Wednesday meaning Liverpool will likley deploy a front-three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.
If Liverpool do go with this XI, it will be a gargantuan task to get the better of an in-form Leicester outfit who have already beaten Manchester City 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium this season.