Here’s our predicted lineup as Liverpool travel to Watford on Saturday. The Reds have some notable absentees.
Jurgen Klopp certainly won’t have his full selection of players against Watford. The boss ruled Thiago out of contention on Wednesday, for instance.
It also seems unlikely that Alisson or Fabinho feature. The duo are away with Brazil, who don’t play their final fixture until Thursday evening. It appears they won’t return in time and Liverpool expect to be without them, per the Athletic.
One other question mark – Diogo Jota. The forward didn’t feature for Portugal after a muscle problem and returned to Merseyside early. Klopp says he’s ready to play on Saturday but that doesn’t necessarily mean from the start.
Caoimhin Kelleher is set to start in goal, while Trent Alexander-Arnold returns to defence. We imagine Andy Robertson will be the other full-back but there’s another consideration here – Atletico Madrid.
The Reds face them on Tuesday and Klopp may want to rotate a little with that fixture in mind. Kostas Tsimikas is a possibility, then.
The same goes for the centre-backs. That’s why we think this is a good time to start Ibrahima Konate alongside with Joe Gomez or Joel Matip.
Jordan Henderson will almost certainly play the holding role in Fabinho’s absence. That appears to make the other two options fairly obvious – Curtis Jones and Naby Keita.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another option here, too, as should be fresher than the other two. Perhaps he steps in for Jones but we’d be a little surprised, given the youngster’s form.
We’re not sure Klopp needs to risk Jota here after his injury. Instead, this could be the time to finally restore Roberto Firmino to the starting XI.
He’s only played from kick-off once thus far – against Chelsea at Anfield. The Brazilian picked up a problem before half-time, however.
But Firmino has looked great when he’s played and should be fresh after not receiving a Brazil call-up. He’s the most sensible rotation option here and Klopp can comfortably use him to keep players fit for Atletico.
Predicted Liverpool lineup vs Watford
Alexander-Arnold – Konate – Gomez – Robertson
Keita – Jones
Salah – Firmino – Mane