Liverpool will head to East London tonight for their Premier League clash with West Ham United at the London Stadium and nothing less than three points will suffice to keep their outside chances of Champions League football alive.
The Reds are currently nine points adrift of the top four with just seven games remaining to close the gap with Newcastle United and Manchester United, so Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his team can pick up their third victory in a row against David Moyes’ relegation-threatened side.
In terms of injuries, Naby Keita, Calvin Ramsay, Stefan Bajcetic and Roberto Firmino remain unavailable for selection, whilst Ibrahima Konate becomes the latest key player to pick up an injury worry.
Klopp took to his pre-match press conference yesterday to reveal that the defender could be a doubt for the upcoming game.
The Merseyside giants played Nottingham Forest at Anfield on Saturday, will face the Hammers away from home tonight and host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, so it could be a good time for the Liverpool boss to refresh his team slightly to prevent exhaustion and injury.
How could Liverpool line-up vs West Ham?
Klopp could be set to make three changes to the team that started in the victory over Forest last weekend, maintaining his classic 4-3-3 formation.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Thiago, Jones, Jota, Nunez, Salah.
The first change we expect to see is in the back four with Joel Matip replacing injury-doubt Konate, alongside an otherwise unchanged defensive set-up of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson.
The second change we predict is Fabinho losing his spot to Thiago Alcantara, who is yet to start since returning from injury a few weeks ago and will complete a midfield three alongside Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones.
The third and final tweak we expect Klopp to make is in the forward-line with the manager spoilt for choice at the moment due to the return of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota from injury.
As a result, Darwin Nunez could be set for an opportunity in the starting XI alongside Mohamed Salah and Jota, replacing fellow newcomer Cody Gakpo in the striker role.
The 6 foot 1 Uruguayan disruptor – who is “box office” in the words of journalist Jack Goodwin – hasn’t started since the 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, so utilising the £140k-per-week forward’s chaotic energy and hunger in front of goal could cause nightmares for West Ham’s defenders tonight.
That said, it will be important for Liverpool to field a high-quality team against the Hammers, however, with fixtures coming thick and fast, it could be the perfect opportunity for the manager to freshen up his starting XI.
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