Injuries could dictate a rather simple starting line-up choice for Jurgen Klopp. A Premier League debut is expected to be handed to summer signing Joel Matip while Divock Origi, Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho are all expected to miss out due to injury concerns.
With injuries constantly playing spoil-sport, Jurgen Klopp has yet to field his strongest possible line-up this season, but will be reasonably satisfied with the resources he has had to work with. Things aren’t any different this time around either with Liverpool reportedly set to be without key figures like Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi and Emre Can for the crunch game against Tottenham Hotspur.
However, the Reds will be buoyed by the return of Sadio Mane who sat out last week’s visit to Turf Moor due to a shoulder injury. It’d be be fair enough to say that Liverpool missed his presence, electric pace and ability to penetrate the opposition defence as evidenced by their spur in form at Burton Albion. With him returning to the side, the Reds smashed five past the Championship team to progress further in the EFL Cup, only three days after enduring a painful 2-0 defeat against Burnley.
The absence of Origi means Daniel Sturridge is expected to take the mantle at the top of the attack once again after being played out wide last weekend to little effect. The England international went on record to state that he was unhappy being played out wide while re-emphasizing that he was a centre-forward. Klopp’s acknowledgement of his striker’s opinion hence leaves little doubt as to where the 26-year-old will start at White Hart Lane.
Coutinho’s touch-and-go hamstring problem means Klopp will unlikely risk the fitness of his Brazilian playmaker and could have Roberto Firmino play on the left side instead. Jordan Henderson may have drawn a lot of flak for his performances off late but the boss insists the England international is good and that it is only a matter of time before he hits top gear.
Sharing his thoughts about Henderson, Klopp stated that,”Hendo [Jordan Henderson] had a difficult season with injuries and it is the first time he is fit since I’ve been here over a long term. These are all the things I was thinking about. I still think I don’t need magic dust.”
“I see him every day in training so if I was doubting him then he would not be here. I have no doubt. It is about decision making, not to too often make the special things, just more what you need to do rather than what you want to do.”
Given the vote of confidence from his boss, Henderson can be expected to keep his place in the starting line-up in the absence of Emre Can. Wijnaldum has been inconsistent for the Reds delivering a poor performance at Burnley hardly a week after an impressive outing at the Emirates during Liverpool’s 4-3 thrashing of Arsenal but chances are he will be given a run-out once more against Spurs to prove his mettle. Adam Lallana has shown good work-ethic and Klopp is expected to stick to the England international once more.
Joel Matip, who made his competitive debut during Liverpool’s midweek visit to Burton Albion, is expected to make his Premier League bow at White Hart Lane after missing out on the Reds first two encounters due to injury. Ragnar Klavan could miss out as well after he took a knock to the head during training. After an impressive outing against Burton from the left-back position, James Milner is expected to keep his spot over Alberto Moreno. Meanwhile, Mignolet keeps his spot in goal ahead of the injured Loris Karius and Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren will take their customary positions in right-back and centre-back respectively.