Liverpool: Klopp opposed to Premier League COVID break
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is expected to recall Thiago Alcantara to the starting line up when his side visit Southampton tonight. The Reds are desperate to get back to winning ways after a disappointing festive period.
Manchester United, Leicester, Manchester City and Tottenham all smell blood in the title race following Liverpool’s surprise draws with West Brom and Newcastle.
For one reason or another, things have not been ticking as normal in the final third for the Reds following the 7-0 win at Crystal Palace in December.
Yet on a positive note, Thiago is now fit after two-and-a-half months on the sidelines with a knee problem.
The £20million summer signing from Bayern Munich made his return in midweek at Newcastle and his injection of quality was there for all to see.
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Now he should slot back into Liverpool’s midfield and make only his second start since arriving at Anfield.
Alisson will keep his place between the sticks, with Liverpool set to name an unchanged back four.
It means Nat Phillips keeps his place at centre-back alongside Fabinho, with Joel Matip set to miss three weeks of action.
In midfield, Gini Wijnaldum is set to return in place of James Milner on the South Coast.
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The Dutchman was rested on Tyneside but Liverpool did not look the same side without his quality in midfield.
Liverpool supporters will now be licking their lips at the prospect of a midfield trio made up of Jordan Henderson, Wijnaldum and Thiago.
Klopp looks set to field the contingent at St Mary’s, meaning Curtis Jones drops out.
The youngster has been in fine form but will now get the chance to rest as Liverpool’s competition for places intensifies.
In attack, there are no major surprise as Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all start.
Liverpool boss Klopp has no new injury concerns and is therefore likely to travel south with an unchanged squad.
“Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] is back and that’s, by the way, the best news – the boys are back and, as far as I know in the moment, nobody got injured, which is a very important thing,” he said.
“That means we can probably go with the same squad to Southampton.”
Liverpoool Expected XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Mane, Firmino.
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