It’s Liverpool vs Brentford on Sunday in the Premier League and Jurgen Klopp has a balancing act to perform. The Reds may need some rotation.
Liverpool head into Sunday having put in a very frustrating performance against Arsenal. They played the vast majority of the game against 10 men but only actually managed a shot on target in stoppage time.
Arsenal sat deep, kept Liverpool at bay and were actually annoyingly comfortable, all things told. The Reds now need to go to the Emirates on Thursday and win.
First is Brentford at Anfield, though. Jurgen Klopp needs to work a balancing act, making sure his thin squad can play both fixtures. Here’s what we think he’ll go for.
Predicted Liverpool lineup vs Brentford
Alisson will almost certainly continue in goal here but we’re unsure about the rest of the Liverpool defence. In fact, we wouldn’t be shocked to see the entire back-four change here.
Andy Robertson apparently had a slight knock and while he’s ‘fine’, starting Kostas Tsimikas might be the safe option. Resting both Virgil van Dijk – who played against both Arsenal and Shrewsbury – and Joel Matip for Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate might be smart, too.
Then there’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. Klopp admitted after the game that he hasn’t entirely found his rhythm after Covid-19 – it still appears to have an effect there. We think Liverpool will stick with him again but don’t be surprised to see Neco Williams step in.
Few Liverpool players came out of the Arsenal game looking good but Curtis Jones was one of them. Having an aggressive, progressive midfielder in there made a real difference and we’d like to see him start at Anfield.
Klopp called him a ‘full package’ in midfield earlier this season – something we agree with. He offers the most going forward of any available midfielder while being able to hold his own in the middle.
Other than that, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson are sensible options. Both should have the legs to play against Arsenal, too, and we think that’s the best midfield three available right now.
We’d stick with Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino. Yes, it’s a lot of football but they’re unquestionably the best available trio up top at the moment.
The more football they get together, the better. Things might even click enough for them to be a serious threat next time Arsenal come around. Subbing two of them off early would be smart but we think they should get the nod from kick-off.
Liverpool vs Brentford
Alexander-Arnold – Konate – Gomez – Tsimikas
Henderson – Jones
Jota – Firmino – Minamino