Liverpool will likely be without their Brazil players against Leeds United on Sunday. Here are how the Reds could replace the missing trio.
As things stand, Brazil players won’t feature for Liverpool or Leeds this weekend. That means no Alisson Becker, Fabinho or Roberto Firmino for the Reds, and no Raphinha for their opponents.
That might change but for now, that’s the situation.
So how should Liverpool look at replacing their missing stars?
This one’s pretty straightforward. Caoimhin Kelleher should be the pick whenever Alisson can’t play this season.
We saw the difference between Kelleher and Adrian last year. The latter, despite his experience, just didn’t click with Liverpool. He struggled with the ball at his feet and had some error-strewn performances.
Kelleher, however, looked like a natural fit when he broke into the side. We don’t remember him putting an obvious foot wrong but even if he did, you’d expect it from someone playing their first-ever Premier League and Champions League fixtures.
The Irishman is the obvious pick.
We imagine the choice here will be dropping Jordan Henderson into the holding role. The fact the captain didn’t feature for England against Poland means he should be fully fit, too.
Of course, Henderson would almost certainly play anyway – he’d just change his role. As for who should step in? We’d pick Thiago.
His passing and ability to dictate the tempo should be ideal against the Leeds press. Put him in there with Henderson and possibly Harvey Elliott and Liverpool would have a midfield that can deal with anything.
There are arguments over whether Elliott should start or not but as for Fabinho’s replacement, it’s surely Thiago.
Firmino would almost certainly miss this one anyway after picking up an injury against Chelsea. Still, he’s a Brazilian who needs replacing.
On the face of it, it’s easy to just say ‘Diogo Jota’ and be done with this decision. We do wonder if Jurgen Klopp will take a chance to rotate, though.
Liverpool play AC Milan in midweek to kick off their European campaign. Keeping one of Jota, Mohamed Salah or Sadio Mane full fresh for that one makes sense.
Perhaps we’ll see Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Divock Origi get the nod here, then. We could even see Elliott move forward or Curtis Jones play from the left.
There are a lot of things Klopp could do here. All depend on how he wants to manage fitness ahead of Milan.
We’d be tempted to play Oxlade-Chamberlain in the forward line but really, any combination could do. If fitness isn’t an issue, Jota is certainly the pick, though.