No Bradley or Nunez, Klopp unleashes “special” gem: Predicted Liverpool XI vs Arsenal
Liverpool face Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.
Liverpool enjoyed a wonderful 4-1 victory over Chelsea in midweek which kept them top of the Premier League table and could Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge end with a second league crown?
They face another big test tomorrow afternoon as they travel to the Emirates to play Arsenal. Win and the supporters will believe a 20th league title is destiny for Klopp. Lose, however, and they may just take a big hit in confidence.
The emphatic win over the Blues will have given the German a boost heading into this title clash against the Gunners tomorrow and with plenty at stake, he will be ready to choose the starting XI which will see the Anfield side secure another win.
With that in mind, here’s the team that could take to the pitch at the Emirates on Sunday in what is a pivotal clash if the Reds are to win a second Premier League title under Klopp…
1 GK – Alisson
The Brazilian will retain his place in the starting XI from the midweek victory over Chelsea, and he has missed just two league matches all season.
In the 20 that he has played, Alisson has kept only seven clean sheets, but the Reds have lost just once in those games, and that shows how good their attacking output is.
2 RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
While Conor Bradley enjoyed a stunning performance against the Blues during the week – finishing the game with a goal and two assists – due to the nature of the task at hand against Arsenal, Trent Alexander Arnold will return to the starting XI.
The Englishman has missed only three matches in the league this season, chipping in with five goal contributions, and his presence in the starting XI will be crucial if Liverpool are to win tomorrow.
3 CB – Virgil van Dijk
The Dutchman has started every single one of his league ties this term, missing only two due to a suspension he picked up following a sending-off against Newcastle United at the start of the campaign.
The former Southampton man will need to be at his best to deal with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus tomorrow, and he will be key to Liverpool securing a positive result.
4 CB – Ibrahima Konate
The 24-year-old has been Van Dijk’s main partner at the heart of the defence due to Joel Matip suffering a serious injury against Fulham back in December, with the Cameroonian likely to miss the rest of the season.
Since replacing Matip during that game, the Reds have conceded just five league goals in their subsequent seven games Konate has featured, indicating that he is the ideal person to partner the Dutchman tomorrow.
5 LB – Andy Robertson
The Scot has missed a large chunk of the season due to suffering a shoulder injury and only made his return against Chelsea in midweek, playing 21 minutes.
He will be deployed in the starting XI against the Gunners and Klopp will be hoping he can keep Saka quiet during the clash.
6 CM – Curtis Jones
The academy product has really taken his game to new levels this season and could become a key member of the Liverpool midfield for years to come.
The 23-year-old has started nine league matches thus far, scoring once and grabbing an assist, and he will retain his place in the starting XI for the visit to London.
7 CM – Alexis Mac Allister
The Argentine was in fine form against Chelsea during the week, finishing the game with a 90% pass success rate, winning 11 ground duels and making one key pass as he shone in the heart of the midfield.
His performances have been getting better and better since adapting to Klopp’s way of playing and his signing is beginning to look like a stroke of genius from the German.
8 CM – Dominik Szoboszlai
The Hungarian gem was another player who shone against the Stamford Bridge side on Wednesday. Not only did he find the back of the net, but he also made two key passes, succeeded with 91% of his pass attempts and took 68 touches, showcasing his desire to get involved.
The former RB Leipzig starlet has started all but one of Liverpool’s league ties this term and Klopp will place his full trust in the 23-year-old against stern opposition at the Emirates on Sunday.
9 RW – Diogo Jota
The former Wolves gem has been tasked with performing in a few roles this season by Klopp, featuring on both wings and also as a centre-forward.
The 27-year-old has scored 13 goals and grabbed three assists across all competitions and, due to Mohamed Salah’s injury, the manager will unleash him on the right wing, similar to the midweek clash against Chelsea.
He scored against the Blues, suggesting that no matter what position he plays across the front three, he is able to contribute effectively.
10 ST – Cody Gakpo
Darwin Núñez is likely to be ruled out for the Arsenal clash after he left in a protective boot following the midweek win over the Blues.
The £140k-per-week striker failed to score despite hitting the woodwork four times, but he did grab an assist and his unpredictability will be missed against the Gunners.
This means Cody Gakpo will earn a start leading the line. The “special” Dutchman – as described by his manager – has managed to net nine goals and chip in with four assists, but facing a stubborn Arsenal defence will be a big test of his abilities.
11 LW – Luis Diaz
The Colombian winger will retain his place from the midweek win, and it was a game where he stood out.
Diaz scored and registered an assist along with making two key passes and succeeding with his only dribble attempt as he showcased his abilities against a dreadful Chelsea defence.
If he replicates this display tomorrow afternoon at the Emirates, the Arsenal defence won’t know what has hit them as the winger will cause plenty of chaos during the clash.
Predicted Liverpool starting XI in full vs Arsenal – GK – Alisson; RB – Alexander-Arnold, CB – Van Dijk, CB – Konate, LB – Robertson; CM – Jones, CM – Mac Allister, CM – Szoboszlai; RW – Jota, ST – Gakpo, LW – Diaz