Liverpool are set to welcome back star attacker Mohamed Salah to the side when they face off against Genk in their third Champions League Group E encounter.
Liverpool will lock horns with Belgian outfit KRC Genk in their third Group E clash of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League at the Luminus Arena on Wednesday night. And they have been handed a major fitness boost for their trip to Belgium, with star forward Mohamed Salah back in the fold after missing the weekend clash against Manchester United.
However, they have been dealt with a couple of blows in defence as Trent Alexander-Arnold has been ruled out of the contest with an illness while Joel Matip will also be unavailable due to a sore knee.
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Speaking of their conditions in his pre-match presser, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, “Trent is ill and Joel is not ready. It is just a little thing which usually settles in the two weeks [Matip] had; it did, but then it came up after the United game and so now we just have to make sure this time it settles finally, that’s all.”
“It is not a massive injury, it’s just a bit annoying for him and he cannot do it [face Genk]. Trent got ill overnight; hopefully he can recover quickly, but for tomorrow there was no chance.”
Joe Gomez is likely to come in at right-back in place of Alexander-Arnold, while Dejan Lovren should take Matip’s place alongside Virgil van Dijk. Andrew Robertson is certain to start as the left-back, while Alisson Becker should make his first Champions League start of the season, having made his return from injury at the weekend.
With an important game against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League coming up at the weekend, Klopp might look to rotate personnel in the middle of the park. Captain Jordan Henderson, who struggled against Manchester United, is likely to make way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on Wednesday night against Genk.
Veteran midfielder James Milner should also get a look-in ahead of Georginio Wijnaldum, while Fabinho will continue to operate as the holding midfielder for Liverpool. Adam Lallana and Naby Keita, both of whom impressed after coming on as substitutes against United, will once again have to make do with a place on the bench.
As mentioned previously, Liverpool have received a huge boost in attack with the return of Salah. “It’s absolutely good to have him back,” Klopp said, speaking of the Egyptian.
While there will be a temptation to hold Salah back for the Tottenham match, the manager is likely to reinstate him into the starting XI against Genk in place of Divock Origi. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will occupy the remaining two slots in the Liverpool forward line.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane