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How Liverpool could line up against Atalanta BC

Sports Mole looks at how Liverpool could line up for Wednesday's Champions League Group D clash with Atalanta BC at Anfield.

Qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League with two games to spare is the prize Liverpool will be chasing on Wednesday when they welcome Atalanta BC to Anfield.

The Reds have won all three of their European outings without conceding so far this season, storming into a five-point lead at the top of Group D.

The most recent of those victories saw them put five past Atalanta without reply in the reverse fixture in Bergamo, but the six-time European champions have seen their options significantly depleted by injury since then.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how Jurgen Klopp could set his side up for the contest.

Possible LIV XI vs. ATA

Out: Trent Alexander-Arnold (calf), Joe Gomez (knee), Virgil van Dijk (knee)
Doubtful: Mohamed Salah (coronavirus), Rhys Williams (hip), Jordan Henderson (thigh), Xherdan Shaqiri (muscle), Naby Keita (hamstring), Thiago Alcantara (knee), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee)

> Click here for Liverpool's latest injury and suspension news ahead of this match

Klopp's options remain hugely limited by an injury crisis which has engulfed his team, but there should be good news regarding Mohamed Salah, who has now returned a negative coronavirus test after missing the weekend win over Leicester City.

Salah is expected to come straight back into the starting XI and Liverpool could therefore name a front four again, although the fact that they are relatively comfortable at the top of the group and that they are back in action again at 12.30pm on Saturday could lead Klopp to rest one of his attackers.

Sadio Mane would appear to be at the top of that list considering Salah sat out against Leicester, Roberto Firmino notched a much-needed goal at the weekend and Diogo Jota's form makes him close to undroppable at the moment.

Jota's hat-trick in the reverse edition of this fixture means that he sits at the top of the Champions League goalscoring charts this season, and if he finds the back of the net again on Wednesday then he would become the quickest Liverpool player to reach five Champions League goals for the club.

In midfield, Naby Keita joined the ever-growing injury list when he limped off against Leicester on Sunday and, while the exact extent of that hamstring problem is yet to be revealed, he is almost certain to miss this game.

Klopp is more hopeful regarding the fitness of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara, but he is unlikely to take any risks over their fitness and could include them as substitutes if they are deemed fit enough to be in the squad.

Should that be the case then James Milner could replace Keita in midfield, as was the case on Sunday when he switched into his more familiar position from right-back, where Neco Williams could start on Wednesday in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold.

It is in defence where Liverpool's injury troubles have been most keenly felt, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both sidelined for the long term, although Fabinho made a successful return to action at the weekend.

The Brazilian may be given the night off in midweek in order to help ease his own return from injury, which should open the door for Rhys Williams to start alongside Joel Matip at the heart of the defence, with Nat Phillips ineligible for the Champions League.

Rhys Williams started when the two sides met in Bergamo and helped to keep one of Europe's most prolific attacks largely quiet en route to a clean sheet.


Who will win Wednesday's Champions League clash between Liverpool and Atalanta?

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on November 8, 2020
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