Mohamed Salah is set to return while Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara remain unavailable ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Atalanta.
Liverpool will be aiming to seal safe passage through to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 when they play hosts to Atalanta in a Group D encounter on Wednesday night. And, Jurgen Klopp has greeted a mixed bag of news ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
While Mohamed Salah is available after recovering from the coronavirus, the Liverpool manager has lost the services of Naby Keita, who sustained a hamstring injury this past weekend against Leicester City. Apart from Salah, Klopp does not greet the return of any other player.
The boss is LIVE to preview tomorrow’s clash with @Atalanta_BC 🙌
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 24, 2020
That means that other than long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Thiago Alcantara and captain Jordan Henderson all remain unavailable. Klopp provided an update on all the short-term issues during his pre-match press conference.
“Mo [Salah] trained with the team yesterday and looked really good. The test was negative – all the tests were negative – so, if nothing changed since yesterday, he is available. Now we have to see what we do with that because he was quarantined until three days ago.”
“All the rest, no news. One looks closer, the other one looks not that close, so that’s how the situation is and we’ll see who is available. I don’t want to speak too much about it because I have no idea who Atalanta can bring into this game, so why should we give any kind of information to them?”
With as many as four midfielders unavailable, Klopp could once again change his formation, reverting to the 4-2-3-1, with Salah spearheading the Liverpool attack. Roberto Firmino will, thus, reprise the no. 10 role, playing off of Salah, with Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane being the two wide men.
There had been some initial concern over Firmino’s availability after he missed training on Tuesday, but it has been reported that the Brazilian will be available to take on Atalanta. The midfield double pivot ought to comprise of Curtis Jones and Georginio Wijnaldum, with James Milner likely to start as the right-back once again.
In fact, the entire Liverpool backline should remain unchanged when Atalanta pay Anfield a visit following a solid showing against Leicester. Joel Matip and Fabinho will, therefore, pair up at the heart of the Liverpool defence, with Andrew Robertson being the obvious pick on the left flank. Finally, there is no looking past Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson; Milner, Fabinho, Matip, Robertson; Jones, Wijnaldum; Jota, Firmino, Mane; Salah