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Jurgen Klopp faces major Virgil van Dijk call as forward line set to be replaced

Liverpool avoided a fourth successive defeat with a scoreless stalemate at goal-shy Chelsea on Tuesday evening.


The Reds failed to net for the third time in the last four games but at least earned a point with a solid defensive performance. Liverpool will now look to breathe new life into their failing Champions League qualification challenge when they host runaway Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday.


And here we look ahead to the changes Jurgen Klopp could make when his team are next in action.

Van Dijk decision

It may have been unconventional at times, but the clean sheet at Stamford Bridge did at least in some way justify Klopp’s decision to rotate three of his back four after the defeat to Manchester City the previous weekend.


Nevertheless it still required a decent performance from Alisson Becker to secure the shut-out, the goalkeeper first-choice between the sticks ahead of Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian.


Kostas Tsimikas had a tough night at left-back and Andy Robertson will be favoured to return after being benched, but Joe Gomez’s solid display at right-back means it’s not a certainty Trent Alexander-Arnold steps back in.


And a big call will have to be made at centre-back. Virgil van Dijk could easily have been dropped after his display at City but missed out at Chelsea through illness, and while he is expected to be available he will have to usurp one of Joel Matip or Ibrahima Konate. Nat Phillips is the other option.


Middle headache


Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have started at both City and Chelsea, so it will intriguing to discover if they have the legs to go again on Sunday.


If not, with Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita expected to be out, Arthur Melo yet to play since October, Stefan Bajcetic sidelined and Curtis Jones making only his second start of the season in midweek, there aren’t many other alternatives.



Harvey Elliott, who was absent for the first time this season on Tuesday, is one, while James Milner could offer experience and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain some attacking thrust.


Liverpool could also utilise the 4-2-3-1 formation used in some recent games, which would see the likes of Cody Gakpo, Roberto Firmino and possibly Fabio Carvalho – who was back on the bench in midweek – in the attacking midfield role.

Diaz ready?

The visit of Arsenal has for some time been targeted as a comeback date for Luis Diaz, although that will almost certainly be on the bench at the very most.

Mohamed Salah will be expected to return on the right, which would leave two places up for grabs in the forward line.


Gakpo, another benched in midweek, will be favourite to start down the middle ahead of Firmino, although Diogo Jota could lead the attack if it’s a 4-2-3-1 approach. If not, Jota will most likely compete with Darwin Nunez for a role on the left flank.


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