Here’s our predicted Liverpool XI to face Manchester United on Sunday. Jurgen Klopp has a couple of big decisions to make.
Liverpool make the short trip to Old Trafford this weekend for one of the biggest games of their season. It’s a game that comes after an intense Champions League midweek for both sides, too, and one that might just hand an advantage to the Reds.
Either way, Jurgen Klopp has some big decisions to make for this one. Here’s what we think he’ll do.
This feels like a lock to us. We think it’ll be the same back five we saw in Madrid, with Alisson in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, Joel Matip in the middle with Virgil van Dijk & Andy Robertson from the left.
There just doesn’t feel like a viable alternative. This is the first-choice and best backline and thus it’ll surely play.
Matip, in particular, shone against Atletico Madrid and he’s the only real question in there. We’re confident it’ll be the same again.
Fabinho will almost certainly return to the XI after starting on the bench vs Atletico. Klopp went with the same midfield that beat Watford 5-0 but found them lacking when trying to stop the Spaniards.
Fabinho came on at halftime, making Liverpool look far more secure. He’ll surely play the holding midfield role here.
Jordan Henderson is a certainty alongside him, leaving room for one more. And that’s a big decision for Klopp. On the one hand, Naby Keita played well against Watford and scored against Atletico.
On the other, he’s not as reliable as James Milner could be. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain really impressed in Spain, too, though we don’t expect he did enough to start here.
There’s some hope that Curtis Jones may be back for this one. Possible Thiago, too, but we’re unsure what’s going on there.
Our guess is Milner, though, as the safest option.
Mohamed Salah will obviously start on the right and Sadio Mane feels like an inevitability on the left, too. The only question is the middle forward.
Roberto Firmino’s hat-trick against Watford was superb – as was his all-around game. But we think this comes down to how United play.
We expect them to use Fred and Scott McTominay, as they did against Atalanta. Playing two sitting midfielders might negate Firmino’s ability to drop back into midfield, however, making Diogo Jota the better option.
If Klopp believes Liverpool will be playing fast on the counter at Old Trafford, we imagine Jota is the pick. If it’s a possession game, Firmino will help keep the ball better.
Given he should be fresher, we’ll go with Jota.
Predicted Liverpool XI vs Manchester United
Alexander-Arnold – Matip – Van Dijk – Robertson
Henderson – Fabinho – Milner
Salah – Jota – Mane