Jurgen Klopp’s selection for the visit to Leeds has been made easier with the return of Thiago, although a decision has yet to be made on his formation.
The Reds will play Leeds in the 12th match of the Premier League campaign on Saturday night after a comfortable 3-0 win over Ajax, which secured them the last 16th place.
Last time in the league, a 1-0 defeat by Nottingham Forest brought Liverpool back to earth, unable to continue their consecutive victories over Man City and West Ham.
Klopp’s task will be to regain confidence and form while continuing to stay in the race for the top four, and a big increase in fitness has helped him in this.
Thiago will almost certainly return, but who else can come to Anfield?
At the pre-match press conference, Klopp gave another information about the physical form of his team:
Thiago is back, Jordan Henderson is expected to be fine after knee injury
Ibrahima Konate is “available”, but “for how long, we’ll see”
Naby Keita, Joel Matip, Artur, Luis Diaz and Diogo Hota are still not eliminated
Liverpool’s XI vs Leeds
During his pre-match press conference, Klopp admitted that he could set up his team again “maybe in a different system.”
This followed the successful switch to the 4-4-2 diamond pattern at Ajax in midweek and may offer another setup we haven’t seen yet this season.
However, it is more likely that Liverpool will return to their apartment attacking 4-4-2 at Anfield:
Unchanged four defenders ahead of Alisson
Thiago replaces Henderson after knockout
Harvey Elliott is back on the right, Fabio Carvalho on the left
Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez stayed ahead
This would lead to the “reds” lining up like this:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Thiago, Carvalho; Salah, Nunez
However, there is still a chance Klopp will stay with the diamond setup, using the necessary rotation just three days after Ajax.
Kostas Tsimikas can let Andy Robertson rest
Thiago was joined by Curtis Jones at number 8.
Roberto Firmino is in 10th place after Salah and Nunez
This will result in Liverpool taking the field, as shown below:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Tzimikas; Fabinho, Thiago, Jones, Firmino; Salah, Nunez
Despite the injuries that continue and are disappointing, it is now at least true that it is more difficult for Liverpool to prepare for rival coaches.
And especially people like Jesse Marsh, who are experiencing an identity crisis themselves.
Adding a 4-4-2 diamond to Klopp’s tactical arsenal — along with the variety of options he opens up in his team such as Carvalho, Jones and Firmino — only adds to the unpredictability.