Jurgen Klopp will have to make do without one of his key players, as Liverpool welcome Chelsea to Anfield in a crunch game that could have a huge impact on the title race
The Reds are already reeling from a run of bad results that have seen them get eliminated from the FA Cup and League Cup, as well as lose to relegation battling Swansea City. They will hope to arrest the rut as they come up against league leaders Chelsea in their next game.
However they will have to do so without right-back Nathaniel Clyne. Jurgen Klopp gave an update on him and Adam Lallana ahead of the game, and things aren’t looking too rosy for the former.
“Lallana trained, Clyney no. Adam is fine for selection and with Clyney we have to see again,” said Klopp, according to the official club website.
“It’s difficult [with Clyne] – would love to force it but we can’t so we have to wait.
“If there’s a risk to make it worse then we cannot take the risk, because he’s already out for [what] feels like four weeks, maybe it was one or two.
“It’s already quite a period so we have to see.”
The German also confirmed that youngster Ovie Ejaria, who put in a good performance against Wolves in their last game in the FA Cup, will be sidelined for quite some time because of an ankle ligament injury.
Liverpool have a dearth of options in the full-back department, which could force Klopp to hand a start to youngster Joe Gomez at right-back. Makeshift full-back James Milner will obviously slot into the left of defence, while Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren form the central defence partnership.
Jordan Henderson will most likely be at the base of the midfield, with Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum playing in front of him. Belgian keeper Simon Mignolet is set to start in goal once again, displacing Loris Karius.
As far as the attacking trio are concerned, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are sure to start, but it remains to be seen if they are joined by their usual partner Sadio Mane, who has just returned from the African Cup of Nation (AFCON) after Senegal were eliminated.
In case Mane doesn’t start, Divock Origi could just lead the attack, as Klopp switches from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 formation.