Mohamed Salah dilemma as Jurgen Klopp ponders Liverpool formation change

Jurgen Klopp is expected to ring the changes again when Liverpool travel to Fulham on Sunday, having named a much-changed side for the Reds’ 1-1 draw with FC Midtjylland on Wednesday night.

With their place in the knockout stages already secure, only Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Caoimhin Kelleher kept their places from last weekend’s victory over Wolves for Liverpool’s Champions League dead-rubber in Denmark.

The Reds’ continental exploits are now over until 2021 but there’s no let-off in their congested fixture list heading towards a busy festive period, with a top-of-the-table clash with Tottenham Hotspur following just days after their trip to Craven Cottage.

But with Liverpool‘s lengthy injury list gradually shortening, Klopp could welcome back a couple of senior faces on Sunday as his side return to Premier League action.

Alisson Becker missed Liverpool’s victories over Ajax and Wolves as well as their draw with Midtjylland but is believed to be on course to return against Fulham after responding well to treatment on his hamstring.

But if the trip to the capital comes to soon for the Brazilian, Caoimhin Kelleher is certain to retain his place having usurped Adrian as the Reds’ number two goalkeeper.

Senior centre-backs

Having remained an unused substitute against Midtjylland, Joel Matip is likely to return against Fulham and should partner Fabinho at centre-back, with the Brazilian’s half-time withdrawal in Denmark made with one eye on the fixtures ahead.

However, the Brazilian has started all but one of the Reds’ Premier League outings since the November international break with Nat Phillips the likely man to step in if he is benched.

After captaining the side against Midtjylland following his return from injury last weekend, Trent Alexander-Arnold should retain his place ahead of Neco Williams with the only way the England international drops out is if Klopp is protecting him for Spurs.

Meanwhile, Andy Robertson starts at left-back after Kostas Tsimikas limped off on Wednesday night.

All-change in midfield

Jordan Henderson was only utilised as a second half substitute, while Gini Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones are also likely to start after being left unused in Denmark.

Naby Keita is an option after coming through an hour unscathed against Midtjylland, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is closing in on a return but Thiago Alcantara and James Milner remain sidelined.

Formation switch?

With Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino only used as substitutes in Denmark, the duo are both likely to start against Fulham with Mohamed Salah the man most likely to make up Liverpool’s front trio despite Klopp having to dismiss fears about the Egyptian’s inclusion against Midtjylland.

The in-form Diogo Jota is the most likely alternative if Salah’s legs are rested, however, the Reds boss could be tempted to switch things up to a 4-2-3-1 system against the Cottagers to include all four of his leading forwards. – Liverpool Echo


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