Matip axed, £200k-p/w star returns in 3 changes: Liverpool predicted starting XI v AFC – opinion

Matip axed, £200k-p/w star returns in 3 changes: Liverpool predicted starting XI v AFC – opinion

With the latest international break now out of the way, Liverpool are back in action at Anfield this evening, with a clash against Arsenal next up for Jurgen Klopp’s side in their chase for the Premier League title. 

Speaking ahead of the match against Mikel Arteta’s team, Klopp revealed that he has a number of injury issues in his squad, with the likes of Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita, James Milner, Curtis Jones, Roberto Firmino, Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson either unavailable or doubtful for the match. 

With this in mind, here’s how we feel Liverpool will line up for the clash against the Gunners, who are currently just two points below the Reds in the table. We are expecting three changes from the team which started the 3-2 defeat at West Ham in the Merseysiders’ last outing.

In goal, despite conceding three poor goals against the Hammers, we think Klopp will stick with Alisson Becker to see if he can record a clean sheet this time around.

For the defence, with Robertson apparently not fully fit, it would make sense for Kostas Tsimikas to come in on this occasion to take the load off the 27-year-old, who picked up a hamstring problem whilst away with Scotland.

At centre-back, next to Virgil van Dijk, we can see Klopp picking Ibrahima Konate ahead of Joel Matip to see if he would be better suited to keeping Arsenal’s attacking players contained after being on the bench for the West Ham game. The Cameroonian was Liverpool’s lowest-rated defender at the London Stadium as per SofaScore, so he could face the axe this evening.

At right-back, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Trent Alexander-Arnold in the team after his free kick goal  against West Ham and three assists in England’s recent 10-0 win over San Marino. 

In midfield, with so many players out injured at the moment, it seems that Klopp could be forced to go with a trio of Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago Alcantara. The latter, who is currently earning £200k-per-week according to Spotrac, could be the man to come in for injury doubt Henderson.

Finally, with injuries in mind once again, we think a front three of Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah will be the way forward for Liverpool to see if they can penetrate Arsenal’s defence, who have conceded just one goal in their three previous league games. 

In other news: Klopp must unleash Liverpool’s “brilliant” £120k-p/w star, he could terrify Arsenal

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