Liverpool: Klopp previews Merseyside derby
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Liverpool face a difficult test on Saturday when they welcome Everton to Anfield for the second Merseyside Derby of the season. The Reds desperately need to win after a spell of bad results in the league, and could be boosted by the return of Naby Keita. Express Sport looks at how Liverpool could line up.
Klopp was eager to give his support to under-fire goalkeeper Alisson Becker after a number of high-profile blunders.
The Brazilian was blamed for errors against Manchester City and Leicester City in the Reds’ last two league outings.
It seems inconceivable to think Klopp will drop him for any reason other than an injury.
And speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp confirmed the goalkeeper would play, saying: “Alisson is fine.”
Defence: Robertson, Henderson, Kabak, Alexander-Arnold
Klopp will likely keep an unchanged defence from Liverpool’s game against RB Leipzig in the week.
The Reds put in their best defensive display for some time, despite having to once again play Henderson out of position.
Liverpool fans were hoping that Fabinho would be ready to return after struggling with a muscle injury, but he will not be in contention against Everton.
As a result, Henderson will have to remain in the middle of defence next to Kabak, who had a strong display against Leipzig.
Midfield: Thiago, Jones, Wijnaldum
Klopp’s midfield selection could be influenced by Naby Keita’s condition, with the central midfielder potentially in contention.
The Guinean star has missed large chunks of the season through injury, but returned to training this week.
As a result, Liverpool will likely keep the same midfield trio as they did against Leipzig, with Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Georginio Wijnaldum in the middle.
Keita could return to the bench, but it is unlikely that he will play the full game, as Klopp confirmed: “We don’t hold him back or force him in.
“It would be nice to have him.”
Attack: Salah, Firmino, Mane
Liverpool’s front three have been on fire recently, and it seems unlikely Klopp will rotate his front three at all.
Mohamed Salah has been in superb form, having scored 17 goals in 23 Premier League games so far this campaign.
Klopp used his Friday press conference to question why Salah doesn’t receive the credit he sometimes deserves.
He said: ““You don’t have to ask me if or why he doesn’t get the credit. If he doesn’t get the credit, I don’t know,” he said.
“It would be really strange and really unexplainable why he shouldn’t get the credit. He gets the credit here, internally, for sure for all these things.”
Diogo Jota is closing in on a return to the side, but isn’t ready yet and is still recovering from his knee injury.
Liverpool expected line-up vs Everton [4-3-3]:
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane
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