Daniel Sturridge is likely to return to the starting lineup for Liverpool’s home game against Watford on Wednesday.
Liverpool will look to maintain their slender lead over Manchester City at the top of the table as they host in-form Watford at Anfield this week.
The Reds are coming on the back of a goalless draw against arch-rivals Manchester United in their last game, which meant they now lead Manchester City by just one point. But, Jurgen Klopp’s men will look to return to winning ways at Anfield, where they have remained unbeaten in their last 34 league matches.
The biggest question in the build-up to this game was the availability of Roberto Firmino, who sustained a first-half injury against United on Sunday. However, Klopp, in his press conference on Tuesday, has confirmed that the Brazilian is expected to recover swiftly, although he may not start against Watford this week.
“It will be very close for [Watford], but there’s a big chance for the derby [on Sunday]. Because it’s Bobby, I would say ‘yes [there is a chance for Watford]’, but I don’t know if I would use that chance because we played Sunday and then Wednesday immediately. Writing Bobby off is a big mistake because he recovers pretty quick.”
Daniel Sturridge, therefore, is favourite to deputize for the Brazilian international in the number nine slot. The Englishman will be partnered by the wide-attacking duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the final third.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi will provide Klopp with further options in the attacking department while Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain will continue his spell on the sidelines.
Elsewhere, Naby Keita is expected to return to the starting eleven after coming back from an illness, with Jordan Henderson likely to make way for the Guinean in midfield. He will be partnered by Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum at the base of Liverpool’s 4-3-3.
Minimal changes are expected in defence, with Klopp missing out on the services of Dejan Lovren (muscle injury) and Joe Gomez (leg). Thus, we expect the German mastermind to stick with the central defensive combination of Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, both of who fared quite well against Manchester United this passing weekend.
However, James Milner is likely to be axed from the starting eleven, having struggled with his deliveries into the box against United. The veteran midfielder will make way for the young Trent Alexander-Arnold in the right-back slot while Andrew Robertson is expected to retain his place on the opposite flank.
Finally, Alisson Becker will be the man between the sticks for Liverpool as the Brazilian aims for his 16th clean sheet of the campaign.