How will Liverpool line up this season?
With the new season almost upon us, we take a look at how Liverpool are expected to line up this season.
Alisson Becker became the most expensive goalkeeper in world football and Liverpool’s No.1 when he signed for a reported €72.5 million so the much maligned Loris Karius will likely drop to the bench, while Simon Mignolet is expected to leave before the summer transfer window shuts.
January signing Virgil van Dijk is the new rock in a Liverpool defence that kept 17 clean sheets during the 2017-2018 season. He is likely to be joined by Croatian International Dejan Lovren as the main centre defensive partnership. However, with games coming thick and fast, rotation is expected with players like Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan all in contention.
The wide defensive positions will be contested by Andrew Robinson (who had a fine debut season) and Alberto Moreno on the left side, while 19 year old Trent Alexander-Arnold is likely to be the first choice right back although he can expect to be tried in more offensive positions, now that the fit again Nathaniel Clyne is available as an alternative.
The versatile James Milner and young Joe Gomez can also fill these positions should injuries require. New signing Fabinho can also play right back, although he is expected to take up a defensive midfield position that Liverpool have sorely missed in the past.
Naby Keïta finally joins Liverpool from RB Leipzig and what a player he promises to be !!
An all action, box to box midfielder has not been seen at Anfield since Steven Gerrard was in his pomp, so he is likely to get every Liverpool fan excited.
Naby will be joined by fellow new signing, Fabinho in the defensive midfield position.
The final midfield position will be contested by the following players, depending on the formation or the system that manager Jürgen Klopp decides upon:
Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner, Marko Grujić (likely to go out on loan), Adam Lallana, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
Unfortunately, the injury picked up by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the Champions League Semi-Final against AS Roma is likely going to keep the talented midfielder out of the squad until 2019/20 season.
Daniel Sturridge has been given a chance after an impressive ‘injury free’ pre-season and is likely to rotate the central attacking position with Roberto Firmino and Dominic Solanke, with Firmino the preferred starter in a front three that includes the impressive Sadio Mané and Golden Boot Winner, Mohamed Salah.
After an unbelievable first season, it will be interesting to see whether the ‘PFA Player of the Year’ can repeat such form in his second season.
Firmino leads from the front, setting the tone for the impressive pressing game that Klopp favours in a 4-3-3 playing formation.
Predicted Liverpool Starting XI
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Daniel Sturridge’s return to form could see him used as an impact player and even starting in some games provided he can remain fit. Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of the England Forward and knows that a fit and firing Sturridge can add another dimension to an already impressive front line
With such a good squad of players to choose from, you could now see Club Captain Jordan Henderson and Vice Captain James Milner warming the bench alongside Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum, with Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Joel Matip and Loris Karius also keeping company.
Danny Ings and Divock Origi are likely to be sold or loaned out before the start of the season.
It promises to be a huge season for the red half of Merseyside and Liverpool look as well-equipped as any other side to give bookies favourites’ Manchester City a run for their money!