Liverpool Team News: Predicted XI vs Leeds as Thiago back but five out
Liverpool take on Leeds United at a late start tonight (Saturday) looking to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to Nottingham Forest. The Reds won 3-0 against Ajax in midweek to book their place in the Champions League round of 16 and are now in search of domestic victory. Express Sport looks at how Jurgen Klopp can line up against relegation-threatened Leeds at Anfield, where the hosts are 29 games unbeaten in the Premier League.
Goalkeeper – Alisson
Alisson may have one less clean sheet than Manchester City’s Ederson and Newcastle’s Nick Pope, but the Brazilian has arguably been the best goalkeeper in the league this season. Certainly he has been Klopp’s most consistent performer.
If it weren’t for Alisson, as he showed at Forest, Liverpool could be in an even worse state than they already are. He will continue his run as an ever-present in the XI here.
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Defense: Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson
Liverpool’s defense has been his biggest concern this season, but against a struggling Leeds, Klopp will almost certainly opt to start with both first-choice full-backs in the league for the first time since victory over Newcastle on August 31.
However, there could be a change between Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson, with Joe Gomez in line for rest after completing the full 90 minutes in Liverpool’s last five games. Ibrahima Konate is back on form and could come in as a partner in Virgil van Dijk’s centre. Joel Matip remains unavailable.
Midfield – Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott
Thiago Alcantara has missed Liverpool’s last two games with an ear infection but is available again. Jordan Henderson suffered a knock at Ajax, but Klopp said on Friday that he hopes his captain is fine.
Still, Thiago could replace him to start alongside Fabinho with Henderson on the bench. Harvey Elliott scored for Ajax and he too is likely to remain in the starting XI.
Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are fully fit again, but Naby Keita isn’t ready to go yet. James Milner should be among the second-half substitutes against his old team, but loanee Arthur Melo is out for a long time.
Attack – Firmino, Nunez, Salah
Darwin Núñez returned to the team in Amsterdam and, despite missing a touch, made amends with a header to make four goals in his last four starts in all competitions. The Uruguayan, who scored his first goal at Anfield against West Ham, will start here again.
Núñez and Mohamed Salah should operate as the most advanced attackers. It is likely that Roberto Firmino will again be asked to support the pair as number 10, with Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota out until after Christmas with long-term problems.
Liverpool predicted XI vs Leeds United: Allison; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Firmino, Nunez, Salah
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