Alisson Becker and Fabinho are set to return when Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid in a UEFA Champions League Group B tie on Tuesday.
Liverpool will be hoping to consolidate their place atop Group B of the UEFA Champions League when they lock horns with Atletico Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday. And Jurgen Klopp has been handed a major boost on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The good news comes in the form of Alisson Becker and Fabinho’s availability, with the Brazilian pair back at the Liverpool manager’s disposal. Indeed, both Alisson and Fabinho had missed out against Watford after returning late from international duty with Brazil.
However, with both completing their rest and recovery, they are set to return to the starting lineup. That leaves Thiago Alcantara (calf), Curtis Jones (groin) and Harvey Elliott (ankle) as the only Liverpool players who remain on the sidelines ahead of the trip to take on Atletico Madrid.
During his pre-match press conference, Klopp provided an update on Jones, who is inching closer to returning to action. However, the Liverpool boss also added that the game has come too soon for him, meaning he has not travelled to Madrid.
Klopp said, “Unfortunately, Curtis was only with us in the warming up and will be here in Liverpool to hopefully make the final steps to full training. Today he did only warming up and then did his stuff, but still individual training and we decided to leave him here to continue that. And then hopefully he is ready for United.”
With Jones, Thiago and Elliott unavailable, Klopp still remains somewhat shortchanged on options in midfield. However, Fabinho’s return means the Brazilian will slot in at the base of the three-man midfield unit, with James Milner likely to make way for him. Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita will, thus, complete the midfield trifecta.
At the back, no change is necessarily warranted, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson will continue as the two full-backs while at the heart of the Liverpool defence, Joel Matip will once again be Virgil van Dijk’s partner. In goal, Alisson Becker is set to return, with Caoimhin Kelleher dropping back to the bench.
Finally, in attack, it is likely that Klopp will stick with the trio that excelled so much last time out against Watford. In particular, the focus will be on Roberto Firmino, who is set to make his 300th appearance for Liverpool. And Klopp heaped praise on the Brazilian forward during his presser.
“Bobby was massive for our development as a team, absolutely. He is obviously a key player, the connector of all the different pieces on the pitch very often. He didn’t have a proper pre-season, then getting injured – that’s now not too helpful obviously. But the three goals from the weekend, for sure, will help him a lot.”
Firmino should indeed reprise his usual false nine role again and will hope to continue from where he left off against Watford. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will once again be the two wide men, leaving Diogo Jota as an option off the bench.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane