Diogo Jota and Fabinho set to come back into contention as Liverpool go head to head with Sheffield United on Sunday.
Liverpool face Sheffield United on Sunday, hoping for a desperate win to get back on track, following four consecutive defeats in the Premier League. The Reds have already lost a lot of ground to leaders Manchester City and with no real hopes of retaining the title, a top-four finish is the best thing they could hope for.
Fortunately for Jurgen Klopp, he has been boosted by the return of Fabinho and Diogo Jota this week. Both the players are back to training and could potentially be a part of the matchday squad against Sheffield United. Even James Milner could be an option in this game.
“Diogo trained now twice with the team, looks very good – very good. But [he] was out long term so we have to see what we can do with that. But in training he looks really promising. Fab was not yet with the team. That can happen tomorrow [Saturday], if I’m 100 per cent right, he has his first session with the team. And same for James Milner.”, Klopp said, during his pre-match press conference.
Jota’s potential return to the team should certainly drive fear into the heart of Roberto Firmino. The forward hasn’t quite been able to provide the goods in recent weeks, and is in desperate need of a promising display on Sunday, alongside the usual partners in Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
There could be one change in the midfield unit, though, as Xherdan Shaqiri hopes for a start ahead of Curtis Jones. The Swiss international offers more offensive prowess in the final third that should aid the three attackers.
As for the midfield unit, the onus will be on Thiago Alcantara and Georginio Wijnaldum to provide that stability in the absence of Jordan Henderson. Klopp does have an able alternative in Naby Keita while it will be interesting to see whether Fabinho makes the bench on Sunday.
Regardless of the midfield and attacking options, however, Liverpool may have to persist with the patchwork defence, with Ozan Kabak partnering Nat Phillips this time, after club captain Henderson picked up a knock against Everton – becoming the latest player to be sidelined.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Alisson remain guaranteed starters elsewhere, although the latter does remain a doubt should Klopp opt to give him a breather in the wake of his father’s death this week.
Predicted Liverpool Starting XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Phillips, Robertson, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Salah, Shaqiri, Mane, Firmino