Leeds United haven’t endured the best start to the season. They’re yet to win a league game and sit in the bottom half of the league with just two points. But it doesn’t get any easier for Marcelo Bielsa’s boys.
Leeds host Liverpool this week and the Reds again have their strongest defence back together after struggling for fit bodies at the back last season. They now have the back four who guided them to Champions League glory in 2019 as well as Premier League success a year later back together. Unsurprisingly, this makes Leeds’ job on Sunday all the more difficult.
The Reds do have a few problems however with a number of injuries plaguing their midfield and front line. Meanwhile the problems with Brazil could force Liverpool to be without a number of key players – a problem Leeds themselves are well aware of with Raphinha unavailable for Sunday’s huge clash.
But what team will Liverpool name, and how will that influence Bielsa’s thinking?
Let’s answer that question. This is the side we expect Jurgen Klopp to name at Elland Road on Sunday:
62 Caoimhin Kelleher
66 Trent Alexander-Arnold
32 Joel Matip
4 Virgil Van Dijk
26 Andrew Robertson
14 Jordan Henderson
6 Thiago Alcantara
8 Naby Keita
11 Mohamed Salah
10 Sadio Mane
20 Diogo Jota
It’s clear that Liverpool have some problems to solve in key positions. The most obvious problem is in goal. Alisson Becker is unavailable due to the ruling made over Brazilian players so young Irish keeper Caoimhin Kelleher will be drafted in after impressing at times last season. That said, Klopp could turn to the more experience Adrian in net.
In midfield, the Reds will be without Fabinho who often provides stability in the middle of the park. So, Jordan Henderson will likely drop back into the six whilst Naby Keita and Thiago are trusted further forward. Harvey Elliot could start but after picking up a minor injury, he might not be risked.
Up front Roberto Firmino is unavailable like his fellow countrymen but wouldn’t have featured anyway thanks to a hamstring issue. So, Diogo Jota will remain in the front three alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.