Fabinho could be in contention as Liverpool travel to Budapest to face RB Leipzig at the Puskas Arena on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool restart their UEFA Champions League campaign on Tuesday when they take on RB Leipzig in the first leg of the Round of 16 clash. It is a must-win game for the English champions, who have had a miserable campaign that has been marred by injuries.
James Milner recently became the latest player to pick up a knock for the Reds, but it appears he and Fabinho have both travelled with the team to Budapest. They will need to prove their fitness, however, and it remains unlikely they’ll get the nod in the starting eleven.
Ben Davies is another player unlikely to feature, while Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are long-term absentees, leaving Jurgen Klopp devoid of central defensive options. Fortunately, the German does have Ozan Kabak at his disposal, having signed him from FC Schalke on loan last month while Jordan Henderson should once again deputise for Fabinho at centre-back.
The Englishman’s presence in a central defensive role, however, could force Klopp to make some adjustment in central midfield. Milner is a doubt, as mentioned earlier and while Naby Keita would have been an excellent option given his past allegiances with Leipzig, the Liverpool manager has confirmed that the midfielder has not travelled with the squad to Budapest.
“Naby is no longer injured but he’s not fit yet. He was in training yesterday but it’s not sufficient yet. We will be away for two days and he will be in training; it’s better than flying with us. Of course, Naby would have liked to be there when it’s against Leipzig.”, said Klopp during the pre-match press conference.
Liverpool do have a reliable holding midfielder, though, in the shape of Thiago Alcantara. The Spaniard is hoping to finally make a mark after a difficult start to life at Anfield, although he will be needing some assistance from his partners in Georginio Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones.
Elsewhere, no changes are expected in goal with Alisson likely to start again, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson should continue as the full-backs. The duo is set to play a key role in offering offensive aid in the final third, as the Reds look to break down the Leipzig side that has recorded the best defensive record in the Bundesliga this term.
Speaking of the attack, Diogo Jota is not yet fully fit to restart training despite having recovered from his injury. Hence, Klopp has no option but to persist with the offensive trifecta of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino that had played a huge role in helping them land the Champions League crown during the 2018/19 campaign.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Henderson, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane.