Predicting Liverpool’s Lineup Against Sparta Prague

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Liverpool’s Predicted XI Against Sparta Prague: Full Strength or Rotation?

Liverpool begin their Europa League knockout campaign as they travel to face Sparta Prague in the first leg of their last 16 tie. With a crucial Premier League game against Manchester City on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what sort of lineup Jurgen Klopp puts out on Thursday.

Some have suggested that the Liverpool boss should go full strength, whilst some have claimed that a really young team including the likes of James McConnell and Jayden Danns should be used. Therefore, today we’re going to be breaking down what we think Klopp’s starting eleven will be.

Defiant Defence

Fears surrounding a rumoured injury to Caoimhin Kelleher were squashed after the Irishman was spotted in training on Wednesday. Therefore, Kelleher will likely start in goal and look to carry on his fantastic form in the build up to Sunday’s game. It’s three clean sheets on the bounce for Kelleher and a fourth would go a long way in Liverpool progressing to the quarter-final.

Photo: IMAGO

Conor Bradley will partner Kostas Tsimikas in the full-back positions, allowing Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson a rest ahead of the City game. Jarrell Quansah will play this one and will likely partner Virgil Van Dijk at the heart of the defence.

Verdict: Kelleher, Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk (C), Tsimikas

Building Up the Fitness

Whilst some are calling for youngster James McConnell to start this one, I really struggle to see it happening. Both Wataru Endo and Dominik Szoboszlai have recently returned from injury and could benefit from building up some sharpness ahead of Sunday.

Photo: IMAGO

Alongside those two, Alexis Mac Allister could feature but I suspect he may be protected for City. Therefore, Bobby Clark could complete Klopp’s midfield three.

Verdict: Endo, Szoboszlai, Clark

Salah to Return?

Mohamed Salah has travelled with the squad, but I doubt we see him feature much with City on the horizon. Therefore, Harvey Elliott will likely start on the right-wing with his involvement at the weekend under question.

Cody Gakpo will definitely start as well, with the Dutchman tipped to miss out on Sunday. That means it’s between Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz for the final spot in the front three.

Photo: IMAGO

Klopp will definitely want Diaz fresh for Sunday and Nunez could benefit from some minutes after missing recent games through injury. The likes of Diaz and Jayden Danns can offer some strength from the bench.

Verdict: Elliott, Gakpo, Nunez

Starting XI: Kelleher, Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk (C), Tsimikas, Endo, Szoboszlai, Clark, Elliott, Nunez, Gakpo

Bench: Adrian, Mrozek, Gomez, Konate, Robertson, McConnell, Mac Allister, Koumas, Diaz, Gordon, Danns, Musialowski

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