Liverpool make the short trip to Goodison Park tomorrow for the first Merseyside derby of the season. Here’s how we expect Jürgen Klopp to line his side up for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

Jürgen Klopp has a bigger squad to choose from after a handful of his injured stars made a return to training. Joel Matip and Curtis Jones are in contention for a start, as is Darwin Nunez after serving his three game suspension.

Diogo Jota is also likely to be named in the squad after returning to training yesterday. The Portuguese international has been out for most of the summer with a hamstring injury. The gaffer will want to be careful with him after he suffered a setback in his first few sessions back in pre-season.

The manager will consider making a few alterations to his side where possible, seeing as it’s the third game of the week. There’s also the small matter of a trip to Naples on Wednesday for the first Champions League group game.

In goal will be Alisson Becker. The Brazilian has kept just two clean sheets in his last twelve appearances for the club in all competitions. It’s not solely down to him that, the Reds have been way too open recently. A clean sheet here will go a long way.

In defence, we can expect one or two changes. Trent and Van Dijk are guaranteed to start but Matip could come in for Gomez at centre back. It’s no indictment on Joe who has been decent, but both have a chequered injury history and will have to be managed carefully.

Another change could come at left back. Tsimikas has been brought on for Robertson in each of the last four games. The Scot hasn’t been in great form thus far, but to be fair neither has Kostas. The manager may prefer the leadership the Scot will bring in a heated derby.

The midfield will once again be a talking point when the lineup is named in. With Henderson ruled out with a hamstring injury and new signing Arthur Melo not available, the manager’s options have dwindled further.

It’s down to five players really; Fabinho, Elliott, Carvalho, Jones and Milner. The Brazilian is a shoo-in for the holding role, leaving two spots. Harvey has been brilliant and deserves to keep his place on the right.

Carvalho has been excellent in all his cameos as well and deserves a start, but starting him together with Harvey at Goodison might be a step too far. The Reds have to win their duels in the middle of the park and the two youngsters together may be too lightweight for the occasion.

That then leaves James Milner and Curtis Jones. The veteran started away at Old Trafford in a similar atmosphere and occasion as will be prevalent tomorrow. He had a tough time of things, looking too slow to keep up with the frenetic pace of the encounter.

It will be a big call to start him once again. His role this season should be limited to appearances off the bench to help see out games and to fill in here and there when required. The manager could resort to Curtis Jones as a result.

The young Scouser has been shaped into a responsible central midfielder who values ball retention and positional discipline. He spent a month on the sidelines after a brief cameo in the Community Shield but has been in training all week.

He’s got the legs to get round the pitch, and the ability to control and manouvre his way out of tight spaces. He has his shortcomings (mainly hanging on to possession too long at times) but will be champing at the bit to show what he’s capable of, in the derby no less.

Upfront, the manager finally has more than three choices at his disposal. Darwin is back from suspension whilst Jota is back from injury. With Firmino finding form in recent games, we can expect him to lead the line tomorrow.

Darwin will be restricted to a substitute appearance like he was in his first two league games. He’s shown he can come off the bench and make an impact and will be keen to mark his return with a goal. Jota you suspect will have a watching brief.

The manager has the option of starting both Darwin and Bobby in a 4-2-3-1, but with Thiago, Keita, Arthur and Henderson all missing, he lacks the midfielders for that setup.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Jones, Salah, Firmino, Diaz.

Subs: Adrian, Phillips, Gomez, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Milner, Carvalho, Jota, Darwin.



  1. Nice line-up.

    Imo I thing the gaffer would stick with Gomez at the back to help cover up for Gordon’s pace, In midfield I won’t be surprised if he goes with Fabinho, Milner and Elliot.

    I hope he makes the best decision, there’s no room for complacency

    Liked by 1 person

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