Anfield welcomes seven time UEFA Champions League winners, AC Milan, in a blockbuster clash tonight as the group stages of this year’s edition commences. The Rosonerri are coming off the back of an impressive 2-0 success over Lazio to make it three wins from three this season.

Liverpool themselves are in good nick and will go full strength. Jurgen Klopp would want a win on the board at the first time of asking in what is a tough group. As such, I expect him to go strong and worry about fatigue or rotation later (against Palace at the weekend). You can get away with three or four changes at home to Palace much easier than you will against Milan.

We can expect a full strength Liverpool side

The group is tough enough, no need to make it any tougher by rotating for the first game. As such, I expect the same back five that kept a clean sheet at Leeds on Sunday. Alisson in goal, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson at full back, and Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip at centre back. If there’s one area where the temptation to rotate might be too great to resist, it is centre back.

Joel Matip has begun the season brilliantly but his injury problems have been well documented over the years. He is unlikely to play three times a week so Ibrahima Konate or Joe Gomez could come in for him tonight with the Cameroonian saved for Palace. I suspect though, that that change will be done at the weekend instead.

In midfield, Fabinho and Thiago are a must, after a dominant performance in Yorkshire last time out. With a fracture dislocation of the ankle keeping Harvey Elliott out for the foreseeable, the slot on the right of midfield becomes available. Skipper Jordan Henderson replaced the 18 year old at the weekend and I expect the same to happen from the start here.

The Fabinho – Thiago axis deserves another outing

Naby Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner and Curtis Jones will all provide options on the bench, ones the manager is sure to use with UEFA sensibly maintaining the five sub rule for this season’s competition. In attack, it’s pretty straightforward. Salah, Jota, Mané will start their fourth game together this season.

The returning Takumi Minamino should make the bench after resuming training yesterday following a knock he picked up on international duty with Japan.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Jota, Mané.

Subs: Kelleher, Adrian, Gomez, Konate, Phillips, Tsimikas, Milner, Keita, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi.



  1. Before i read the article, i was hoping Konate and Taki would feature today. but i agree that rotating this weekend is better than the ucl.


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