Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in line to return while Georginio Wijnaldum will replace Fabinho when Liverpool welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Anfield.
Liverpool will be hoping to return to winning ways and extend their unbeaten start to the Premier League season when they play hosts to Brighton & Hove Albion at Anfield on Saturday. And, Jurgen Klopp has a fresh concern hampering his preparations for his side’s latest fixture.
Fabinho, who was going to be unavailable for selection against Brighton due to a one-match ban after incurring his fifth booking of the campaign last week, is also ruled out due to an ankle injury. Further tests have confirmed that his ligament has been damaged, which, in turn, is set to render him sidelined for the remainder of the year.
Klopp was asked to comment on Fabinho’s injury during his pre-match press conference and the Liverpool boss iterated that the Brazilian’s absence is a huge blow while also confirming that he will miss the busy Christmas period.
“Of course, that’s absolutely bad news. Nothing good to say about that. About a timeframe or how long it will take, we are not sure. But it looks pretty sure that he will not be involved in the Christmas fixtures, let me say it like this. It obviously takes a while.”
Apart from Fabinho, there are no fresh injury troubles for Klopp to contend with. In goal, there is no looking past Alisson Becker, who continues to search for his first clean sheet of the season.
The defensive line, though, should see one change. Joe Gomez ought to make way for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who will have Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren and Andrew Robertson as his companions at the back.
The key decision for Klopp to make ahead of the visit of Brighton will be Fabinho’s replacement. The Liverpool manager did address the issue during his presser, naming Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum as possible replacements for Fabinho.
“We have to replace him, we can replace him. We played well without him, we played good without him, that’s all OK. In the preparation for the Napoli game, for example, we watched the Napoli game from last year a little bit, not too much, and Hendo played the position. Gini played the position already, Adam Lallana played the position.”
Wijnaldum is likely to be the man replacing Fabinho in the starting lineup, but Henderson ought to be deployed at the base of the three-man midfield. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to be the third man in the middle of the park, with James Milner and Naby Keita being backup options.
Oxlade-Chamberlain started in the front trio last weekend, with Mohamed Salah rested. Salah, though, is now injury free after coming through unscathed from the Champions League meeting with Napoli earlier this week. The Egyptian superstar should join the usual suspects Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the three-pronged attack that will face Brighton.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane