Liverpool take on RB Leipzig tonight in the latest instalment of their pre-season schedule.
The Reds have a couple of injury issues as they head to Germany, while a number of their big hitters were given extended time off this week.
As a result, Jurgen Klopp’s predicted XI vs RB Leipzig still has a distinctly pre-season feel to it. As the big kick-off draws nearer though, he’s whittled down the young players in the squad.
One of those youngster to remain though is Sepp van den Berg. The 20-year-old may be heading out on-loan once again soon, but we think he’ll get another chance to impress tonight. Here’s who we think will join him in the eleven.
It isn’t ideal that Liverpool look to yet again be without their first and second choice goalkeepers tonight. Instead, there’s little choice but to retain Adrian from the start.
Klopp gave the players who were involved in end-of-season international added time off when landing back in England this week. So we don’t think any of them will start here. That means that the fit-again Joe Gomez fills in at right-back.
That will leave a slot in the middle for van den Berg to fill. He looked a step up from Nat Phillips last time around and deserves the chance to display his skills. Joel Matip should start next to him.
At left-back both Kostas Tsimikas and Andy Robertson were in the ‘other’ group, so James Milner will likely slot in there.
With Milner at left-back and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injured, Klopp’s options are reduced in midfield. He still has Jordan Henderson available though, and we expect him to play the ‘Fabinho role’ against Leipzig.
Curtis Jones should get the chance to show his development during the off-season. We think the manager is likely to hold back on players like Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho himself. That will give Jones the platform he needs.
The third midfield slot should be filled by Fabio Carvalho. After impressing on the left of the front-three against Crystal Palace, we think the lack of options will mean Klopp takes another look at him in a deeper role.
If Klopp does decide to go with the players who were training at the AXA Training Centre all week, his forward options are a little slim.
Still, he’ll have Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino to count on, and they should both start tonight.
On the right, it could be that Mohamed Salah starts this one. Instead though, we think Klopp will retain Harvey Elliott, who played well in the role against Palace.
We expect this eleven to get the first 45 minutes, with two or three like Henderson, Matip and Diaz to get a little longer. The likes of Salah, Nunez, Thiago and Virgil Van Dijk will perhaps be seen in the second-half.
Liverpool predicted XI vs RB Leipzig: Adrian; Gomez, Matip, van den Berg, Milner; Henderson, Carvalho, Jones; Elliott, Firmino, Diaz