Liverpool’s Title Challenge
Liverpool’s title challenge received some extra encouragement as the Reds moved four points clear of Manchester City on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side put in a comfortable performance to emerge as 2-0 winners against Sheffield United, while Pep Guardiola’s team fell to a 1-0 away defeat at Aston Villa.
Those results leave Liverpool just one point behind Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, who needed a last-minute goal to defeat Luton Town on Tuesday.
This weekend marks a huge opportunity for the Reds to potentially move ahead of the pack, as they face Crystal Palace in the early kick-off on Saturday.
A win there would put pressure on their title rivals, where Man City face a tricky away game at Luton Town, while Aston Villa host Arsenal.
Today, we’re going to be looking at the predicted Liverpool XI ahead of Saturday’s game.
Liverpool’s defence was formidable on Wednesday night and will look to carry on that form on Saturday.
Caoimhin Kelleher earned himself a much-needed clean sheet, with a much more convincing performance than what we’ve seen from the Irishman so far this season.
The keeper will continue with Alisson Becker still absent, and the central defensive partnership of Virgil Van Dijk and Ibou Konate will also remain the same after a colossal performance.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will continue, maintaining his fantastic run of form with another assist on Wednesday.
The only change that should be made to Klopp’s back line is for Kostas Tsimikas to return to the team for Joe Gomez, after being given the night off against Sheffield United.
Verdict: Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas
The Engine Room:
After another impressive performance midweek, Wataru Endo is expected to receive his second Premier League start in a row.
Alexis Mac Allister will drop out of the team after picking up a knock on Wednesday, being replaced by Curtis Jones.
On the opposite side, Dominik Szoboszlai was impressive against Sheffield United and rounded the performance off with a late goal.
The Hungarian will keep his place in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield, before getting a rest against Union Saint-Gilloise on Thursday.
Harvey Elliott and Ryan Gravenberch will be available to make an impact from the bench.
Verdict: Endo, Szoboszlai, Jones
The Front Three:
Due to the injuries to both Diogo Jota and Ben Doak, Klopp only has four experienced forwards to choose from.
Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, and Cody Gakpo will be battling for the attacking slots over the next month.
After playing 86 minutes midweek, I suspect that it’ll be Gakpo who will drop out of the team on Saturday.
Therefore, Klopp will go with a front three of Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah, and Darwin Nunez.
Verdict: Salah, Nunez, Diaz
Starting XI and Bench:
Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Endo, Szoboszlai, Jones, Salah, Nunez, Diaz
Bench: Adrian, Pitaluga, Quansah, Gomez, Bradley, Gravenberch, Elliott, Gakpo, Gordon