Villarreal v Liverpool Semi Final Leg Two - UEFA Champions League
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Klopp recalls 'special' player to start, with three changes made: Liverpool's predicted XI vs Spurs

Liverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Saturday evening in a crucial game for both sides in the Premier League.

The Reds will be hoping to return to the top of the table with a win, while Spurs are desperate to maintain their top four charge.

Thankfully, Liverpool came through their Champions League tie with Villarreal on Tuesday unscathed. There’s another game on the horizon though – this time against Aston Villa three days after Spurs visit Anfield.

Klopp will need to keep his players fit ahead of another big week in the Reds quadruple hunt. Here’s how we think they’ll line up.

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Defence

Let’s start with an easy one. Alisson Becker has started Liverpool’s last 16 games and he’ll make that 17 against Spurs.

Klopp is unlikely to alter his back four too much as The Reds look to deal with the threat of Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Dejan Kulusevski.

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That will mean Trent Alexander-Arnold starts at right-back, with Virgil Van Dijk and Andy Robertson also continuing in-front of Alisson.

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The one change at the back is likely to see Joel Matip return in place of Ibrahima Konate. Matip has been Klopp’s preferred partner to Van Dijk in the Premier League and sat out the win in Spain. He’ll be back on Saturday to deal with Kane and co.

Midfield

As with the defence, Liverpool’s midfield should look very similar to the one that started the game against Villarreal.

That should see both Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara retained as Liverpool face another huge fixture. The two players are the first on the teamsheet in the middle of the park and will be needed to set the tempo at Anfield.

Alongside them Klopp has been rotating between Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson of late. As Keita got the nod on Tuesday, expect to see Henderson back in the team at the weekend.

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The captain’s game-time has dropped off slightly in recent months. Despite that, he’s still played 51 games this season – more than any other Liverpool player. Easy to see why his manager has previously called him ‘special’ via liverpoolfc.com.

Attack

Liverpool’s options up-front could be enhanced this weekend as Roberto Firmino returned to training. This game will likely come too soon for the Brazilian though, leaving Klopp to choose between four options for three places.

Mohamed Salah will surely continue on the right, and Luis Diaz should start having been the difference maker midweek.

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That will leave the manager to make a decision over who will play through the centre. Although Mane has been in excellent form recently, he’s due a rest. Instead, we’re expecting Klopp to keep the faith in Diogo Jota.

Liverpool’s predicted XI vs Spurs: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Diaz

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