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Jurgen Klopp could unleash new Liverpool front three as Naby Keita conundrum looms



A 3rd Champions League semi-final of the Jurgen Klopp period is firmly in sight for Liverpool.

The Reds’ 3-1 win in Lisbon final week was, for round 75 minutes not less than, a masterclass in how one can quell an intimidating and hostile environment by means of sheer high quality.

Benfica might need hoped {that a} raucous Estadio da Luz could be the good leveller of the taking part in discipline when Klopp’s facet rolled into the Portuguese capital final week, however because it went, the quadruple hunters had far an excessive amount of high quality for his or her hosts.

One slight mishap from Ibrahima Konate apart that allowed Darwin Nunez to pounce, it was largely comfy for the Premier League facet and because of this, it offers them a terrific alternative to relaxation and rotate forward of an FA Cup semi-final with Manchester Metropolis on Saturday afternoon.

Such is Liverpool’s power in depth now they’re freed from any long-term accidents that they are going to absolutely have the ability to navigate a well past the Portuguese facet at house on Wednesday night time with out an overreliance on their primary males.

Alisson Becker continues to be more likely to maintain his place in purpose however it may very well be an excellent alternative for Joe Gomez to fill in for Trent Alexander-Arnold on the proper facet of the defence.

The centre-back did a satisfactory impression of his vaunted team-mate within the current win over Watford and holding Alexander-Arnold contemporary for Wembley and its potential for 120 minutes is one thing Klopp will give lengthy consideration to, one would suppose.

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Konate might return for Joel Matip on the again given the latter’s must be fastidiously managed as a consequence of his damage considerations throughout his Anfield tenure, however Virgil van Dijk ought to maintain his place in a again 5 that would additionally embrace Kostas Tsimikas as a substitute of Andy Robertson.

It will be no shock to see Thiago Alcantara drop out for this one after back-to-back video games towards Benfica and Metropolis final week. The Spaniard has usually been in good kind since getting back from damage earlier this yr, however this may be a super time to relaxation him up forward of Wembley.

The important thing choices for Klopp in his engine room are more likely to be what he does with each Fabinho and captain Jordan Henderson. Neither have been at their finest within the 2-2 draw with Manchester Metropolis however will certainly be wanted as soon as extra on the nationwide stadium on the weekend. Will Klopp give some credence to the considered leaving one out and together with the opposite?

Naby Keita was glorious final week in Lisbon, so may realistically anticipate to be recalled whereas Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all vying for a spot if there’s to be a midfield reshuffle.

Elliott was considerably of a shock starter at Inter within the earlier spherical again in February however has solely been included from the off for the FA Cup sport at Nottingham Forest since, so it may be a substitute temporary for {the teenager} as soon as extra. Jones was named within the lineup towards Watford in the newest match at Anfield, and could also be known as upon as soon as extra.

It’s up high, nevertheless, the place the embarrassment of riches actually comes into play for Klopp. It’s a welcome dilemma to have for any supervisor, not least one that’s nonetheless preventing on all fronts on the enterprise finish of the marketing campaign. In Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, he has 5 viable choices for 3 locations, with Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino additionally lurking within the background too.

Salah added one other 90 minutes to his tally on Sunday to take him as much as an unimaginable 2050 for the calendar yr and given he has not registered in open play since mid-February, this seems like the perfect time to present the Egyptian a well-earned relaxation. The debates had raged over his kind previous to Sunday’s draw with Metropolis and whereas one expertly-supplied help for Mane helped calm these considerations, this seems like the right likelihood to afford the 28-goal high scorer some respite.

Maybe it’s a sport for Diaz, then? The Colombia worldwide is aware of Benfica all too effectively from his time with their fierce rivals Porto and his well-taken purpose within the first leg was an enormous second throughout the 180 minutes of this tie.

Roberto Firmino may afford Jota the possibility to relaxation up too down the center which can give Mane a possibility down the proper of the entrance three. The Senegal star has adjusted fantastically to a brand new central function since Diaz’s arrival in January, however he hasn’t operated on the proper since his first season at Anfield again in 2016/17.

A entrance three of Mane, Diaz and Firmino would imply the previous is reprising an outdated function, however it’s one he would seemingly have the ability to carry out towards the Portuguese outfit, even when he’s more practical within the different two positions throughout the entrance.

Or does Klopp even choose Minamino for this one? The Japan worldwide has largely been a home cup hero this season however his 9 objectives this season are to not be sniffed at.

As ever within the Champions League, although, the flexibility for Klopp to call 5 subs may but see him identify his strongest doable XI to place the tie firmly past Benfica earlier than ringing the in-game adjustments. It is fairly the posh for the Liverpool boss to have.





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