Jota and Konate return | Expected Liverpool line-up vs Newcastle
Liverpool welcome Newcastle United to Anfield for Thursday nights Premier League clash.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been in stunning form since the last international break with seven straight wins. That includes a five-match winning streak in the Premier League which sees them second on the table.
The Reds will be aiming to close the four-point gap to leaders Manchester City with another victory. Liverpool drew both games against Newcastle last season, but should be favourites to pick up a win tomorrow.
Here is how Liverpool could line up against Eddie Howe’s side:
Goalkeeper: Alisson Becker had a comfortable game against Aston Villa last weekend where he kept his ninth clean sheet. He is currently tied with Manchester City’s Ederson in the race for the Golden Glove award. The Brazilian has the chance to leapfrog his compatriot.
Defence: Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson appear definite starters in the full-back positions, but Klopp may contemplate a change at the heart of the backline. Joel Matip has been regularly rotated with Ibrahima Konate this term. The latter could get the nod to partner Virgil van Dijk in central defence.
Midfield: Thiago Alcantara has started all five league games for the Reds since the last international break. The Spaniard is finally finding his form and confidence, but he could still be given a breather, owing to his injury record.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be an option to replace him after playing in an unfamiliar false number nine role against Villa. However, it won’t be a surprise if Naby Keita is picked to partner Jordan Henderson and Fabinho. Keita could make his first league appearance for Liverpool since October.
Attack: Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are undisputed starters when fit. Klopp is unlikely to rest either, particularly with the duo unavailable for most of January due to African Cup of Nations duty. Salah has five goals in nine meetings against Newcastle.
Roberto Firmino has returned to full training after a hamstring injury, but Diogo Jota appears set to start up front for Liverpool. The Portuguese was only a substitute against Villa after a minor knock. The £40.5m-rated star has been in top form this term with eight goals in 15 league outings.
Expected Liverpool line-up (4-3-3) vs Newcastle United