Virgil van Dijk is set to turn out for Liverpool for the 100th time while Divock Origi should replace Sadio Mane when the Reds face Wolves on Sunday.
Liverpool will be hoping to end 2019 on a high when they play hosts to Wolves at Anfield on Sunday evening. Ahead of his side’s final game of the year, Jurgen Klopp has been dealing with a fresh injury concern pertaining to one of his side’s key players.
The goalkeeping department has no issues whatsoever, with Alisson Becker fit and firing. The Brazilian goalkeeper will take his place in goal once again. Defence has been overworked amid the fixture congestion in December, especially with two regular centre-backs in Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip unavailable.
James Milner is an option to deputise for either Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andrew Robertson, but the Liverpool vice-captain could be used in midfield instead. With Milner likely to be deployed in the middle of the park, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are likely to continue as the full-back pairing.
Similarly, there is no looking past Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez at the heart of the Liverpool defence, due to the spate of injuries. The visit of Wolves will be a momentous occasion for van Dijk in particular, with the Dutchman set to make his 100th appearance for the Merseyside club.
Up ahead in midfield, a key issue for Klopp surrounded the fitness of Jordan Henderson. The Reds’ boss had been sweating over the fitness of the Liverpool captain, who sustained a knock during the 4-0 win over Leicester City earlier this week. Klopp provided an update on Henderson and the general fitness situation in an interview with Liverpool’s official website.
“Quite OK. The boys we had available should be available again. The only problem is that we are training later this afternoon so I still have to wait for all the information, that’s how it is in this period. But it looks like they should be all fine. Yeah – it’s only pain [Henderson’s injury]!”
“Fresh legs are important but it’s not only about that – it’s about the quality we can involve in the game, the different quality the other players have, so there are a couple of things. In this period of the season, you have to come through somehow and so far it worked well but we need to be lucky for the rest of the season as well because the situation is not perfect in the moment.”
Despite Henderson being fit to feature, Klopp might not risk starting the Liverpool captain so as to not aggravate his fitness issue, especially considering Lovren, Matip, Fabinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are sidelined for at least another month.
In Henderson’s stead, James Milner could start at the base of Liverpool’s midfield, with Naby Keita and Georginio Wijnaldum giving him company. As far as attack is concerned, Sadio Mane appears to be due a rest and could drop down to the bench. Divock Origi is likely to replace Mane, with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah completing Liverpool’s three-pronged attack against Wolves.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Milner, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Origi