Liverpool host Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United at Anfield tomorrow night with a chance to move within three points of Manchester City. We look at how Jürgen Klopp could line up for the momentous encounter.

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Last Saturday saw a swing in the title race, with City’s defeat to Spurs meaning their procession had suddenly become a race again. Liverpool went from losing to Norwich and potentially falling 12 points behind, to turning it around and seeing City lose.

Six points behind with a game in hand. That game in hand is of course this Leeds fixture which was postponed back in December due to a combination of positive Covid test results and an injury crisis in the Leeds camp.

It is sure to be as full strength a team as possible for tomorrow night, even with the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea slated for Sunday. It’s not everyday you get the chance to reignite title hopes afterall.

Diogo Jota (ankle) and Roberto Firmino (muscle) remain out and will be monitored ahead of the final. Everyone else is fit so it’s sure to be another interesting selection headache for Jürgen Klopp.

In goal, Alisson Becker will start. The Brazilian’s run of three consecutive clean sheets ended against Norwich but he made up for it with a sensational assist for Mohamed Salah’s 150th goal for the club.

Trent and Robbo were rested on Saturday and should return here. Gomez and Tsimikas did a solid job against Norwich but will have to make do with a place on the bench.

The best pair of fullbacks on the planet

At centre back, Virgil is in his groove and is hitting the levels he set before his injury. I doubt he wants a rest and I don’t expect the manager to break his rhythm either. Alongside him will be either Matip or Konaté.

Joel was rested last week in Milan so isn’t in need of another break. I also have a sneaky suspicion Konaté will start the final on Sunday because of his physical attributes suiting a duel with Lukaku. Either ways, Matip starts alongside Virgil tomorrow night.

In the middle of the park, Fabinho wasn’t involved at all at the weekend whilst Thiago was restricted to a half hour cameo where he was a joy to behold. The two of them will likely start together here. Their record when starting together in midfield stands at an impressive 17 wins and a draw from 18.

The third slot could go to any one of Henderson, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner or Elliott. It could even be Curtis Jones who has missed out on the matchday squad completely over the past few weeks.

The gaffer however has shown huge faith in Harvey Elliott as we saw when he handed him his first start post injury, away to Inter Milan. That night didn’t go smoothly for the 18 year old and I suspect he’ll be given another start here to strut his stuff.

As fate will have it, tomorrow night’s opponents represent full circle for Harvey. He sustained the horrific ankle dislocation fracture at Elland Road back in September after an innocuous Pascal Struijk tackle.

In attack, Divock Origi made his return against Norwich after months out with a knee injury. Minamino also came on late on to replace Luis Diaz. They are both options if Klopp wants to rotate Mané or especially Salah who has had a full schedule since returning from AFCON.

We could see Origi start through the middle in Jota and Firmino’s absence. Mané could then start on the right with Diaz on the left as Salah gets a breather. Mo could then come on in place of Sadio second half to ensure both get a bit of a breather.

Divock Origi was heavily serenaded by the Kop on Saturday

In as much as tomorrow night is crucial, the effect an intense Leeds side will have on energy levels for Sunday can’t be completely ignored. If Diogo and Bobby won’t make it for the final (it doesn’t seem they will, at least not from the start), then it might also be prudent to hand Sadio another go at it upfront.

If that’s the case then we could see the same front three that started on Saturday with Diaz on the left, Sadio through the middle and Mo as usual on the right. It will be a chance for the three of them to build on the Norwich performance.

They will work on building an understanding and a partnership ahead of the final as they will likely start together again on Sunday. One or two decisions for the manager to make for sure. Ox meanwhile is at risk of joining Jones in missing out on a place on the bench.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Thiago, Mané, Origi, Diaz.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Konaté, Tsimikas, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Salah, Minamino.



  1. Nice analysis, I like the idea of Salah having a breather and coming on for Mane later in the game.
    I think Henderson would make the line up, he has improved in the last two matches and with an assist at the last match which handed Luiz Diaz his first goal for the club, I think Klopp won’t only want to create a chemistry between Salah, mane and Diaz but also with Henderson.
    I can’t wait to see Arnold and Robertson perform tomorrow

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hendo is a sure starter in the final I feel. If he starts tomorrow night, the final will be his third start in an intense week, which is why I think he’ll be on the bench tomorrow

      Liked by 1 person

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