Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane are set to return, but Diogo Jota will drop to the bench when Liverpool face Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Liverpool will be hoping to complete another miraculous UEFA Champions League comeback when they play hosts to Real Madrid at Anfield in the quarter-final second leg on Wednesday night. And, Jurgen Klopp does not have any fresh roster issues to contend with ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and captain Jordan Henderson are long-term absentees while Caoimhin Kelleher and Divock Origi have been struggling with minor issues lately and are expected to miss out against Real Madrid once again.
Klopp is unlikely to make wholesale changes to his side and any surprise selections, like the one that saw him pick Naby Keita in the first leg, are not expected this time around. In goal, Alisson Becker is the undisputed starter for Liverpool, who will line up in their usual 4-3-3 formation versus Real Madrid.
The defensive line will remain intact, with Nathaniel Phillips and Ozan Kabak continuing to pair up at the heart of the Liverpool backline, while Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold will be the two full-backs. Speaking of Alexander-Arnold, he was one of the topics of discussion for Klopp during his pre-match press conference.
The Liverpool boss said, “Yes, [that’s] what you always expect from each player. It’s a little bit of a problem for me to answer your question because it always looks like he didn’t play well before. We didn’t play a brilliant season, we know that, so far. Trent had a difficult start and then from a specific moment played a really good season.”
“Did he play exactly as good as he could have played or played in the past? I don’t even know 100 per cent. But then it started this discussion [that] he ‘raises his game’. He had assists for us before that. Yes, it’s a special situation, he reacted really well and that’s important. But it’s not that he was in a dark place and had to lift himself out of that, he just didn’t get selected for England, that was all.”
Back to team selection, and in midfield, Thiago Alcantara ought to be recalled after starting on the bench in each of the last two games, including the first leg against Real Madrid last week. James Milner will likely be the player to make way for Thiago, who will have Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho for company in the middle of the park.
Finally, in attack, the key decision will once again involve the player who misses out from the quartet of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota. While Salah is an ever-present in the Liverpool attack, Firmino ought to retain his spot after impressing lately, with Mane likely to get a chance to impress ahead of Jota against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane