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Predicted Liverpool starting XI vs Atalanta: Klopp to make four changes, 28 y/o returns

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool will take on Italian outfit Atalanta in the Champions League group game at Anfield on Wednesday night, and you can watch this and other Champions League games live online.

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

TV Info: The match is being shown live on BT Sport 2 in the UK.

The Reds have picked up three wins out of three already in Europe, and a victory tomorrow will guarantee them a place in the knock-out stages. In the previous meeting between the two clubs, Jurgen Klopp’s side produced an impressive away performance, winning 5-0 in Italy, where summer signing Diogo Jota scored his first hat-trick for the club.

With games coming thick and fast and keeping in mind the Premier League clash against Brighton at Saturday lunch-time, Klopp is likely to make a few changes to keep the squad fresh. However, his options are limited with the Reds squad severely ravaged by injuries.

Here is the team we think Klopp will select for this game.

Goalkeeper: Alisson – who kept a clean sheet against Leicester – will obviously keep his place in goal once again.

Defence: Liverpool received a massive boost last week with Fabinho returning to the side. With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez being long-term absentees, the onus of responsibility will lie on him and Joel Matip for most of the season. Keeping in mind Matip’s poor fitness record he could be given a breather, with Rhys Williams – who impressed heavily in the last Champions League game – likely to come into the side.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is still nursing his calf injury and he is likely to miss out as well. Neco Williams should step in at right-back. Summer signing Kostas Tsimikas has made only one substitute appearance for the Reds in the Champions League since joining the club, and he could make his first start on Wednesday, replacing Andy Robertson.

Midfield: Skipper Jordan Henderson is still out with a groin injury. Naby Keita picked up a hamstring injury in the last match, and he could be out for a couple of weeks. Thiago Alcantara and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are close to returning to full fitness, but the game may have come too soon for them. Xherdan Shaqiri is also absent with a muscle injury.

With so many first-team players out of action, Klopp is likely to go with the midfield pairing of James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum for this tie.

Forward: With Mohamed Salah returning after being tested negative for coronavirus, Klopp could be tempted to use all his four forwards together (Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota being the other three) just as he did against Manchester City.

The 28-year-old Egyptian winger has been in spectacular form this season (10 goals in all competitions already) and his return to the side couldn’t come at a better time. Takumi Minamino is also another option for Klopp, but he is more likely to start from the bench.

Thus, Klopp is likely to make four changes from the last match, with Salah, Tsimikas, Neco Williams and Rhys Williams coming into the side.

Predicted Liverpool starting line-up (4-2-4): Alisson, Neco Williams, Fabinho, Rhys Williams, Tsimikas; Wijnaldum, Milner; Salah, Jota, Mane, Firmino.

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