Starting XI Prediction: Liverpool vs Atalanta

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Europa League Quarter-Final: Who Makes Liverpool’s Starting XI?

After a frustrating 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Sunday, Liverpool’s attention now turns to the UEFA Europa League as they host Atalanta in the Quarter-Final first leg on Thursday. With the Reds facing a crucial run-in as they eye both the UEFA Europa League and the Premier League title, some rotation is expected from Jurgen Klopp.

The likes of Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Stefan Bajcetic and Diogo Jota all returned to first-team training on Tuesday, but aren’t expected to be involved in either the Atalanta or Crystal Palace games this week. With that being said, let’s take a look at the starting eleven that Klopp may put out.

Klopp’s Back Line:

Caoimhin Kelleher will remain in between the sticks despite Alisson Becker’s return to first-team training. Ahead of him, Virgil Van Dijk will start at the heart of the defence but his partner isn’t such an easy option. I suspect Ibou Konate will be nursed a little bit further following his knock against Sheffield United, so Jarell Quansah could be in line for another start alongside Van Dijk.

Photo: IMAGO

Andy Robertson will keep his place in the back four after impressing in his two appearances since his return from injury. After starting on the bench on Sunday, Joe Gomez will come back into the side in place of Conor Bradley to partner Robertson.

Verdict: Kelleher, Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson

Potential Endo Absence?

Wataru Endo was missing from Liverpool’s first-team training session on Tuesday, so isn’t expected to feature on Thursday. Therefore, I’d imagine that Alexis Mac Allister will move back to the base of Klopp’s midfield three.

Photo: IMAGO

Ahead of him, Curtis Jones will return to the starting lineup on the left-hand-side of that midfield three. Another change in the midfield will see Harvey Elliott replace Dominik Szoboszlai on the opposite side, with the youngster being rewarded for his brilliant recent form.

The likes of Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch and Bobby Clark will provide some valuable support from the bench.

Verdict: Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott

Gakpo’s Redemption

After a couple of improved cameos from the bench lately, I suspect Cody Gakpo will come into the starting lineup to give Darwin Nunez a rest from the starting lineup. Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz will remain in the starting lineup on each wing.

Photo: IMAGO

Jayden Danns and Darwin Nunez will be on the bench and the latter will almost certainly feature at some point.

Verdict: Salah, Gakpo, Diaz

Starting XI: Kelleher, Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson, Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott, Salah, Gakpo, Diaz

Bench: Adrian, Mrozek, Konate, Tsimikas, Bradley, McConnell, Clark, Szoboszlai, Gravenberch, Koumas, Danns, Nunez


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