Jurgen Klopp could be set to heavily rotate his side ahead of Liverpool’s Europa League clash with Toulouse on Thursday.
Andy Robertson and Thiago Alcantara will both miss the game through injury, whilst Cody Gakpo, Stefan Bajcetic, Luke Chambers, and Ben Doak remain doubtful.
Today we’re going to look at three key decisions that Klopp will need to make when selecting the lineup for Thursday’s game.
Kostas Tsimikas vs Callum Scanlon
With Robertson and Chambers both likely to miss the game on Thursday, Klopp is left with just Kostas Tsimikas and Callum Scanlon as available left-backs.
Kostas Tsimikas played 62 minutes in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Everton on Saturday, which suggests that Klopp might have been protecting the Greek’s fitness levels.
However, with Liverpool facing Nottingham Forest just three days after their clash with Toulouse, there is certainly an argument for Tsimikas being rested for this one.
18-year-old Callum Scanlon featured regularly throughout pre-season and impressed with a handful of promising performances.
With Andy Robertson likely sidelined until 2024, especially in Europa League games, it could be worth protecting Tsimikas as much as possible.
However, it would not surprise me if Klopp sticks with Tsimikas for both the Toulouse and Nottingham Forest home games this week.
Mohamed Salah vs Harvey Elliott
Klopp surprisingly went with a strong lineup in the 2-0 victory over Union Saint-Gilloise in matchday two, so it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see the same here.
Salah started that game before being replaced at half-time, but Klopp will be eager to preserve the Egyptian King’s fitness levels going into the festive period.
With Ben Doak’s current injury worries, it would be down to Harvey Elliott to step up in the right-wing position.
Elliott definitely deserves a start after his fantastic performances from the bench in recent weeks and may be forced into operating in an offensive role in the side.
With the midfield likely to be packed with the likes of Wataru Endo and Curtis Jones, this option becomes even more likely.
Virgil Van Dijk vs Jarrell Quansah
With Joe Gomez and Joel Matip likely to replace Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ibou Konate on Liverpool’s right-hand side of the defence, the question remains over the left side.
Virgil Van Dijk started in Liverpool’s Europa League opener against LASK, before Jarrell Quansah started against both Leicester City and Union Saint-Gilloise.
However, the Dutchman has played a lot of football in recent weeks for both club and country.
With Toulouse currently sat in 2nd place in the group, a win here would put the Reds on the brink of progression to the knockout rounds.
Therefore, I suspect Klopp will go strong at the back and start Van Dijk alongside Joel Matip.
However, I think Quansah has done enough to earn the trust to start at the heart of the defence in these group games.
Predicted XI: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Endo, Gravenberch, Jones, Elliott, Nunez, Jota.