The new Premier League season may be over six weeks away, but Liverpool already know who they’ll be facing as the curtain comes up on August 6th.
As reported by liverpoolfc.com this morning, Liverpool’s first Premier League fixture of 2022/23 comes away at Fulham.
It represents the fourth time in a row that Liverpool have been paired with the previous season’s Championship winners on their first game back in the big time.
Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho have already been added to Liverpool’s squad. There may also be further changes in the intervening weeks. As things stand though, here’s how we think Liverpool will line up at Craven Cottage.
Second-choice ‘keeper Caoimhim Kelleher sent a few alarm bells ringing when speaking about his Liverpool future recently. The young Irishman suggested he may not be at Anfield next season. One man who will be is Alisson Becker, and he’ll be sure to start in goal.
At right-back and fresh from an extended summer break will be the irrepressible Trent Alexander-Arnold. The 23-year-old was one of Liverpool’s best players once again last season and another big one is expected of him in 2022/23.
At centre-back we expect to see Ibrahima Konate start the season as Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice to partner the un-droppable Virgil Van Dijk.
Completing the back five we expect Andy Robertson to recover from an injury issue to be ready in time.
This is perhaps the one area of the Liverpool squad where fans would like to see some movement in the market. For now though, The Reds are left with their full compliment of options from last season.
As a result of the opposition, we think Klopp may change things up slightly and go out guns blazing into the season.
Instead of his usual three, we’re backing Jurgen to play a midfield ‘double-pivot.’ Ideally, this would be Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara.
But given that Thiago is once again nursing some injury issues, it will be Jordan Henderson who partners the Brazilian.
This is where the fun stuff starts. Both of Liverpool’s additions to the squad so far have been in attacking areas. Carvalho could make an appearance against his former side, but it’ll have to be from the bench.
Instead, we think Klopp will supplement a new-look 4-2-4 formation with a strong attacking arsenal.
That will consist of Mohamed Salah out right, Luis Diaz out left, and Roberto Firmino playing just off new £64m man Darwin Nunez through the middle. Diogo Jota may come in for Bobby if he recovers from a current thigh injury.
It may be a risky strategy with Fulham right up for it on their return to the top-flight. But we think The Reds should aim to make a statement start and showcase their full strength up-front.
Liverpool’s predicted opening day XI vs Fulham: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Diaz; Nunez