Jurgen Klopp has three obvious Liverpool starters but new injury may derail plan
A look at the Liverpool selection questions ahead of LASK Europa League clash.
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Now the Reds turn their attention to the Europa League and face Austrian side LASK in their opening Group E contest on Thursday. Ahead of the clash, here’s a look at the team selection questions posed to Jurgen Klopp.
Goalkeeper and Defence
Alisson Becker had a largely untroubled afternoon against Wolves. He was helpless to Hwang Hee-chan’s opener yet barely made a save after that. Certainly, in the first half, that was because of poor finishing from the home side.
Plenty have concurred that Caoimhin Kelleher should be Liverpool’s keeper for the formative stages of the European competition. The Irishman is highly rated and could be a Premier League No.1 in his own right but remained at Anfield in the summer. Turning 25 in November, he’s made just 21 senior appearances in his career.
Andy Robertson skippered Liverpool at Molineux and scored the decisive goal. He’s likely to be given a rest with Kostas Tsimikas to come in. Trent Alexander-Arnold may not be back from his hamstring injury - and may not be risked regardless so Joe Gomez may continue.
In central defence, Jarell Quansah impressed making his full Premier League debut against Wolves. A second straight start may have been in the offing but he limped out with an injury at Molineux. He was replaced by Ibrahima Konate, making his return after a two-game layoff and may feature to get up to speed.
As could Virgil van Dijk having served a two-match suspension for his sending-off in the 2-1 win at Newcastle United last month although Joel Matip could retain his spot.
Alexis Mac Allister’s international exploits with Argentina undoubtedly was the reason behind his jaded performance at Wolves. There was no surprise he was subbed at half-time. Wataru Endo is the obvious replacement although it could also give Klopp a chance to hand Stefan Bajcetic a first appearance in six months after an adductor problems.
Harvey Elliott has impressed every time he’s come off the bench this season, with his shot deflecting off Hugo Bueno for the third goal against Wolves. In truth, it’s difficult to see him not starting and may replace Dominik Szoboszlai, who has made an impressive start to his Anfield career.
Curtis Jones could also be taken out and a full debut given to deadline-day signing Ryan Gravenberch, who came on in stoppage-time at Molineux.
Mo Salah’s likely to be given some respite in the Europa League group stage. Elliott is a contender to feature on the right flank but highly-rated 17-year-old Ben Doak will also be eyeing a chance.
Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz made all the difference when both coming on in the Black Country. Yet Klopp may be thinking about restoring the pair to the line-up against West Ham in the next league game so Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota may again play.