Adrian is set to replace the suspended Alisson Becker when Liverpool welcome Everton in the first Merseyside derby of the season at Anfield on Wednesday.
Liverpool will be hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they play hosts to Everton at Anfield in the 285th edition of the Merseyside derby on Wednesday night. And, Jurgen Klopp has a fresh roster issue to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
First-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker is suspended after being sent off in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion this past weekend. Alisson is set to be replaced by backup custodian Adrian when Everton pay Liverpool a visit. And, Klopp put his faith in the Spaniard during his pre-match press conference.
“My man of the match is Adrian, coming on in a game like this and having that knock of the free-kick. It is incredible. An ice-cold ‘keeper getting his gloves ready and then… [whistle]. That is our life. Then being in the game to make two saves. He saved our lives and I am happy for him he can play the derby.”
Other than Alisson, Klopp is also bereft of the services of Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne due to their respective knee injuries. The Liverpool boss provided an update on Matip, in particular, revealing that the Cameroonian centre-back is nowhere near making a return to action just yet.
“Joel needs a bit more time, it’s healing but it’s not exactly how we wished for. It needs a bit more time, so that will take a while. The rest are fit. The long-term injuries not in, but all the others are fit and available.”
In Matip’s continued absence, Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez remain the only recognised central defenders to partner Virgil van Dijk. Lovren is likely to hold on to his spot, meaning the defensive line in front of Adrian should remain unchanged against Everton, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson being the full-back pairing.
Up ahead in midfield, the key decision for Klopp is to pick the designated holding midfielder in the absence of Fabinho, who is sidelined for the remainder of the year due to an ankle injury. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson reprised the holding midfield role against Brighton.
Against Everton, however, Georginio Wijnaldum could be tasked with sitting at the base of the three-man midfield, with Henderson taking up a more advanced position in the middle of the park. Henderson and Wijnaldum will likely be joined by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain once again, with Naby Keita and James Milner missing out once again.
As far as the Liverpool attack is concerned, there is no looking past Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, with Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri being the backup options.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane