Finally, Liverpool head into a Premier League weekend on the back of a win. It’s been a while.
That victory over Everton means that the Reds go to Newcastle United with their tails somewhat more up than they have been recently.
With Eddie Howe’s side flying high in the top four, that’s just as well. Liverpool remain the only team to beat the Magpies this season. Repeating that feat would put them six points behind Newcastle with a game in hand.
It’s a big game, with a huge three points on offer. Here’s the team we think Jurgen Klopp will send out.
Alisson Becker wasn’t too troubled by the Everton forward line on Monday. The Brazilian will have been grateful for the clean sheet nevertheless and will hope for another one tomorrow.
In-front of Alisson, there’s no reason to change Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has looked at it in recent games. There’ll be a swap at centre-back though, with Klopp confirming that Virgil van Dijk is set to return to the side.
It’ll be great to see the ‘magnificent’ Dutchman back in action once again. We’ve missed him. Next to Virgil, it’s a toss up whether to drop Joel Matip or Joe Gomez. Owing to Matip usually playing on the right, we think he’ll stay in for this one. Not much in it, mind.
At left-back Andy Robertson is a shoo-in. The Scot has been one of the more consistent performers of late.
Against Everton, Liverpool fans finally got to see what a functioning midfield looks like. The added insurance of Fabinho next to young Stefan Bajcetic seemed to work a treat.
As a result, we expect Klopp to keep them both in for this one. Tuesday’s game against Real Madrid should perhaps be factored in, but we think the boss will go as strong as he can for both games.
The one change we think will happen with one eye on Tuesday is Naby Keita for Jordan Henderson. Hendo isn’t the relentless running machine he once was and with Naby in decent form, there’s no harm in him picking up the pieces.
This is where things could get difficult for Klopp. Does he go with the three who are now starting to build some chemistry together, or does he throw in his returning stars.
It’s a tough one, but we think Klopp will go with the former option. As a result, we’re expecting to see Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah once again.
If one is rested with an eye on Tuesday though, it’s likely to be Darwin. In that case, we’d expect to see Roberto Firmino through the middle and Gakpo on his left.
Predicted Liverpool XI vs Newcastle: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita, Bajcetic; Salah, Gakpo, Nunez
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