Georginio Wijnaldum is likely to be rested by Jurgen Klopp when Liverpool welcome Burnley to Anfield in Sunday’s afternoon kick-off.
Liverpool sub-par performances recently have allowed Manchester City to leapfrog them and now the reigning champions are four points ahead following their win over Watford at the Etihad on Saturday. The Reds will now be hoping to bring the deficit down to one, when they play hosts to Burnley at Anfield on Sunday, with Jurgen Klopp likely to shuffle his side around slightly.
There has been some positive news behind the scenes at Liverpool, with James Milner and Dejan Lovren returning to training after their recent struggles with injuries. Milner may have a chance based on what Klopp said during his pre-match press conference.
But, Lovren, who has been out for the last two months, may not feature just yet. As a result, Joel Matip will continue to partner Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson also pick themselves in the back four that should provide cover to Alisson Becker.
The changes are likely to come into effect in midfield, where Klopp has several options to consider. While Fabinho should keep his place, the Liverpool manager is likely to rest Georginio Wijnaldum, who in his current form looks like a sure starter. The decision though, might be made keeping the Champions League fixture with Bayern Munich in mind.
James Milner, who has been struggling with a minor hamstring complaint, could be back in his stead, although a late fitness test would determine this decision, judging by Klopp’s comments during his pre-match press conference.
“Millie we will have to see. It is Millie, so everything heals quicker with him! He was already outside yesterday. He had a little muscle issue, but there are still two days to go until the game. I think if you ask Millie he would say, ‘I will be ready’ but we have to see.”
The Liverpool boss was also quizzed about two summer signings who have not featured much lately, and whose absence from the Merseyside derby against Everton last weekend raised a few eyebrows – Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri. Klopp, however, insisted there’s nothing to worry, and stated they are still crucial for the side.
“It’s just that we have to think about a lot of things before a game. We played quite a few teams with really good set-pieces, stuff like that. We needed to make sure that we had the right line-up and set-up for that. Naby is actually in a good moment and has trained well. It’s only been the last three games he didn’t play too much.”
“It’s similar with Shaq. He had a little injury and was out [for Bournemouth at home]. There was something with his back, and he needed a little time. I remember the moment when he got the injury – he won a heading challenge near the sideline. His body wasn’t used to that! It affected him.”
Keita looks likely to return to the starting lineup, completing the midfield trident, but Shaqiri might sit out one more game on the bench. In attack, Klopp will be able to call upon Roberto Firmino again, with the Brazilian completely recovering from his ankle problem. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are certain starters, and should accompany Firmino upfront.