MX23RW : Monday, November 23 21:52:18| >> :60:3281:3281:

How Liverpool could line up against Leicester City

Sports Mole looks at how injury-ravaged champions Liverpool could line up for Sunday's Premier League clash with leaders Leicester City at Anfield.

The reigning champions face the current leaders in the Premier League on Sunday as Liverpool welcome Leicester City to Anfield in a hotly-anticipated showdown.

The Reds have suffered a nightmare international break with a number of key players joining their already-significant injury list, leaving a patched-up team to face a Leicester side that has set the early Premier League pace this season.

Liverpool are looking to set a new club record of 64 consecutive home league games without defeat, but given their injury troubles and the form of their visitors, Sunday's showdown may be their biggest test yet in that run.

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



Possible LIV XI vs. LEI

Out: Jordan Henderson (groin), Mohamed Salah (coronavirus), Trent Alexander-Arnold (calf), Joe Gomez (knee), Virgil van Dijk (knee), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee)
Doubtful: Thiago Alcantara (knee), Fabinho (hamstring), Rhys Williams (hip), Neco Williams (ankle), Andrew Robertson (hamstring)

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

Even Klopp's plans for a worst-case scenario would surely not have foreseen so many key players missing at once, with the Reds facing the prospect of being without as many as 11 first-teamers and more than half of their strongest starting lineup this weekend.

Among those definitely sidelined are their captain Jordan Henderson and top-scorer Mohamed Salah, but the main crisis comes in defence.

Major questions were already raised when Virgil van Dijk was ruled out for perhaps the rest of the season, but the last fortnight has seen Liverpool's strength in depth stretched to the absolute limit.

Trent Alexander-Arnold picked up a calf injury just before the international break which is expected to keep him sidelined for a month, and no sooner had Joe Gomez joined up with England that he suffered a knee injury in training which could see him spend the rest of the campaign alongside his centre-back partner Van Dijk in the treatment room.

Andrew Robertson was left as the last man standing but then he too picked up a hamstring problem while away with Scotland, although no news was good news regarding him during Klopp's pre-match press conference and the left-back is expected to be the only member of Liverpool's first-choice back four to start this weekend.

Even the back-ups began to arise as doubts with Rhys Williams and Neco Williams sustaining injuries while away with their respective youth international teams, although the latter is likely to be fit to cover for Alexander-Arnold.

James Milner is another option at right-back, while Nat Phillips provides more cover in the middle, but Fabinho is likely to partner Joel Matip at the heart of the defence if he passes a late fitness test.

Should Fabinho fall short then Phillips would most likely be chosen ahead of Rhys Williams due to the latter's eligibility for the Champions League, but either way it will be a seventh different starting centre-back partnership already for Liverpool in their ninth league game of the season.

Like Fabinho, Thiago will undergo a late fitness test having not featured since the Merseyside derby and his possible return would be a timely boost for Liverpool.

The summer signing may not go straight back into the starting XI though, which means that Georginio Wijnaldum may be forced into the holding role with Naby Keita and Curtis Jones alongside him due to Henderson's absence.

Salah's positive coronavirus test will likely force Klopp to revert to his 4-3-3 formation with Diogo Jota in Salah's usual spot on the right, although Xherdan Shaqiri is also pushing for a start should Klopp opt to go for a bold attacking system once again.

Jota has scored in all three of his Premier League home games for Liverpool so far this season and could become the first player in the club's history to find the back of the net in each of his first four such games.


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


ID:423076:cQx

Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Leicester?

Liverpool
Draw
Leicester
Liverpool
56.7%
Draw
23.9%
Leicester
19.4%
536
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on November 8, 2020
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Jurgen Klopp insists Mohamed Salah coronavirus situation has been dealt with
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Tottenham HotspurSpurs96212191220
2Liverpool96212116520
3Chelsea953122101218
4Leicester CityLeicester96031812618
5Southampton95221713417
6Everton95131916316
7Aston Villa85031911815
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves9423910-114
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
11Crystal Palace94141213-113
12Arsenal9414910-113
13Manchester CityMan City83321011-112
14Leeds UnitedLeeds93241417-311
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle93241015-511
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton92341315-29
17Burnley8125412-85
18Fulham9117918-94
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9036618-123
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd9018415-111

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