Jurgen Klopp will be without just one first-team player when Liverpool host Napoli at Anfield on Matchday 6 of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool will battling to retain their place in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League season, when they welcome Napoli to Anfield on Tuesday night. The Reds have been forced into a do-or-die situation due to their three losses on the road in the group stage, but Jurgen Klopp will fancy his side’s chances owing to a strong home record.
The Liverpool boss will further be buoyed by the fact that he has just one player on the treatment table, with Joe Gomez recovering from a leg fracture he sustained last week. In the Englishman’s absence, the heart of the defence is the only area of concern for Klopp, especially with Dejan Lovren recovering from a concussion.
Dejan Lovren is outside training at Melwood. In contention for return to action v Napoli #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) December 10, 2018
The Croat has returned to training and has taken part in a couple of training sessions. But, Klopp informed the media during his pre-match press conference that he will take a late decision on his involvement in the key UEFA Champions League tie against Napoli.
“We will see how Dejan is doing. Yesterday he was out on the pitch and looked quite well. Squad-wise, [there is] no bad news at least.”
As things stand, it looks likely that Lovren might not feature, considering he will have just a day of full training under his belt. In case he is not fully fit, Joel Matip will continue featuring alongside Virgil van Dijk in the central defensive partnership.
Trent Alexander-Arnold should return to the starting lineup after being rested against Bournemouth this past weekend. Andrew Robertson should complete the Liverpool backline, which will provide cover to Alisson Becker.
In midfield, Klopp has his entire personnel for the season available to him, with Adam Lallana fit and available, despite initial concerns over a head injury sustained over the weekend. But, the Englishman is unlikely to start against Napoli, and will possibly be a backup option on the bench.
The midfielder who looks the likeliest to start though, is Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who was on the bench at Dean Court. Naby Keita should start as well, having shown a lot of improvement in recent outings. The midfield triumvirate is likely to be completed by James Milner.
Up ahead in attack, Sadio Mane’s fitness was a cause for concern ahead of Klopp’s press conference. But, the Liverpool boss provided good news on the Senegalese, exclaiming that he is likely to be fit enough to start.
“Sadio can deal with the pain obviously – it looked like that in Bournemouth, so that’s cool. It’s good enough that we can consider him at least.We have two sessions still to come – we’ll train tomorrow morning as well. That’s very important. We have the meeting to do.”
Mane should thus, feature in the front trio, starting on the left flank, with Mohamed Salah taking his place on the right side of the Liverpool attack against Napoli. Roberto Firmino is expected to complete the side, playing in his favoured false nine role, with Xherdan Shaqiri dropping to the bench.