Liverpool will not be able to call up Cody Gakpo in the match against Leicester on Friday, and Jurgen Klopp must choose between his left options.
The Reds are due to play their 60th and final game in 2022 this week as they face Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester at Anfield.
A full-fledged victory over Aston Villa on Boxing Day was their third in a row in the Premier League, ending the break at the World Cup, and Klopp will aim to make it fourth.
However, his attacking options remain limited, despite signing Gakpo from Eindhoven for 37 million pounds earlier this week.
Since Gakpo is currently not eligible to perform, a big challenge is required on the left.
Here’s what we know about Liverpool’s line-up for Friday, including from Klopp’s press conference:
- Cody Gakpo is unavailable and cannot be registered until January 1.
- Roberto Firmino is “already cured” but has set his sights on a Brentford comeback
- Ibrahima Konate is available again – and no new injuries after Villa
- Curtis Jones is probably still missing along with Luis Diaz, Diogo Hota, Arthur.
Liverpool’s XI vs Leicester
Since there were no new concerns after the 3-1 victory over Villa, and four days have passed between games, there is a high probability that the same team will remain.
If so, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may have another opportunity in an unfamiliar role as a left winger:
- Alisson is behind the unchanged four defenders, including Joel Matip
- Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Tiago in midfield
- Oxlade-Chamberlain is preserved along with Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez.
This is the Liverpool squad at Anfield:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Nunez
However, there is still room for change, especially in connection with the difficult trip to Brentford, which reduced Tottenham to a 2-2 draw on Boxing Day, which will take place in just three days.
This hardly includes Konate in the starting lineup, but there are other options for changing midfield and attack:
- Changes in the line of defense are doubtful, Matip will remain in his place
- Harvey Elliott could replace Henderson in midfield
- Fabio Carvalho could replace Oxlade-Chamberlain
With these two changes, Liverpool could look like this:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Elliott, Thiago; Salah, Carvalho, Nunez
Even though there are signs of improvement after the break and the time spent training in Dubai, this Liverpool is still a work in progress when it comes to changing their form.
But in a promising period, there are compelling reasons to argue that Klopp must keep his faith in an unchanged squad, especially in the absence of key forwards.
It should also be noted that Leicester and Brentford are followed by the FA Cup third round match with Wolverhampton at Anfield, and more rotations can be used at this point.