Jurgen Klopp could be without as many as give first-team players when Liverpool welcome Manchester United to Anfield on Sunday evening.
Liverpool will be aiming to continue their unbeaten run when they play hosts to Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday. The Reds will also be motivated by the prospect of returning to the top of the table, following Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Everton on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp though, has a fair few problems to deal with ahead of the crunch tie on Sunday. In particular, the defence is in a bit of a crisis, with almost all the sidelined players being defenders.
But, one area of the pitch that presents no issues whatsoever is the goalkeeping department. Alisson Becker is fit and available, and will keep his place in the Liverpool goal.
At the heart of the defence, Klopp is down to his bare bones, with Joe Gomez (leg) and Joel Matip (shoulder) on the treatment table. As a result, Dejan Lovren becomes an automatic selection to line up alongside Virgil van Dijk in the central defensive partnership.
Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold is likely to miss out due to a knock he picked up during Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League tie against Napoli, and Klopp addressed the right-back’s situation during his pre-match press conference, while also talking about his team’s fitness problems.
“We have to see. For him [Alexander-Arnold, it is day by day how we judge it. It’s not cool but as long as we still have enough players, it is our job to always find a solution for it – and we will have a solution for the weekend, but of course it is not perfect.”
With Gomez also sidelined, Klopp does not have a wealth of options at his disposal. But, the Liverpool boss did confirm that Nathaniel Clyne is available, although the defender’s fitness is a bit suspect.
“Clyney was unfortunately injured in the last two or three weeks. It was nothing serious but serious enough that he couldn’t be a part of training. Luckily, for four days he is in full training again – so that’s good. Is he ready for 90 minutes? I don’t know. Is he ready? Yes.”
Clyne though, has not played a full game all season and is unlikely to be sharp enough to start. As a result, James Milner could start as the right-back once again after reprising the same role last weekend against Bournemouth. For the left-back slot, Andrew Robertson is fit, and should start.
In midfield, Klopp has all his personnel available to him, but Fabinho could be the unlucky one missing out, with Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Georginio Wijnaldum likely to form the trio in the middle of the park. Upfront, with Klopp likely to use the 4-3-3 formation, Xherdan Shaqiri will likely miss out again, meaning the dynamic triad of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will start.