Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to replace Naby Keita when Liverpool take on Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.
Liverpool will have the chance to take another step towards winning the Premier League title when they lock horns with Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening. And, Jurgen Klopp does not have any fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixtures.
There are no issues whatsoever plaguing the goalkeeping department, meaning Alisson Becker will take his place between the sticks once again, with Adrian being his deputy. Nathaniel Clyne is the only defender on the sidelines, as he continues to recover from a long-term knee injury.
Klopp is unlikely to rotate his troops against Watford, with the upcoming FA Cup fixture versus Chelsea next week being the game in which he will ring in the changes. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will, therefore continue at the heart of the Liverpool defence, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson being the full-back pairing.
Two of the remaining three absentees are midfielders, with Jordan Henderson continuing to make his recovery from a hamstring injury, while James Milner is dealing with a hip complaint. Klopp provided an update on the Liverpool captain and vice-captain during his pre-match presser.
The Liverpool manager said, “[They are] all coming closer, much closer. Hendo is running, Millie is running and even more. It was not enough for this game [against Watford] now.”
While Henderson and Milner will miss out, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum are certain starters in the three-man unit against Watford, considering Klopp will not make many alterations to the side that beat West Ham United last time out.
As for the final spot, Naby Keita made little impression against the Hammers and faces the prospect of being dropped, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain likely to be the man replacing him. And, Klopp addressed the questions posed to him surrounding the duo, claiming Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita are not direct competitors for the final midfield spot.
“They don’t compete against each other. Hopefully they don’t see it like this, it’s not like this, they just offer naturally different things. Naby can play better than he played obviously, but that was not the reason [for the substitution against West Ham]: the game was like it was and Oxlade came on completely fresh and with his natural skill, having direction, speed – it’s a different player.”
Nevertheless, Oxlade-Chamberlain should come in for Keita against Watford, starting in the third midfield slot. Upfront, there is no looking past the fantastic trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane