Liverpool make Darwin Nunez decision, examine Tottenham’s injury
A preview of how Liverpool could line up when they face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday
Jurgen Klopp made 10 changes for Liverpool’s Carabao Cup third round tie with Leicester City, with Curtis Jones the only survivor from Sunday’s 3-1 win over West Ham United.
The 22-year-old captained his boyhood club at Anfield to complete another landmark moment in a flourishing Red Devils career. He was withdrawn from the dying embers, replaced by Stefan Bajcetic, after a respectable performance in a unique right-back role.
Klopp had to send on Dominik Szoboszlai and Darwin Nunez midway through the second half as his substitution paid off, with Szoboszlai heading home from 20 yards. There were also confident goals from Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota, both of whom finished the match well against Jakub Stolarczyk.
Ten changes since the win over the Hammers saw Caiomhin Kelleher, Jarell Quansah, Ibrahima Konate and Kostas Tsimikas make up the rest of the bottom four. Klopp admitted that Joe Gomez is not ‘good’ for the away trip to Enzo Maresca’s team, but the German coach confirmed that the English defender will play in the away trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (5:
A lot may depend on the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold, however, though it might be that Klopp decides to ease the full-back back into action rather than throw him straight in from the start against Spurs.
Normal service will likely be resumed within the rest of Liverpool’s backline with Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson returning to the fray. Joel Matip had a strong display against West Ham but with the threat of Spurs’ pace, Konate seems to be the viable option to feature alongside the Dutch skipper.
Harvey Elliott and Ryan Gravenberch started in Liverpool’s three-man midfield with Wataru Endo as the man in the middle. Endo came into his own in the second half, after a sluggish start, as he began to show glimpses of what he could offer to the midfield.
Gravenberch was the architect for the equaliser as he fed his Holland compatriot, Gakpo. Meanwhile, Elliott was unfortunate not to get himself on the scoresheet, including a late effort cleared off the line by Conor Coady.
Wednesday provided a welcome break for Alexis Mac Allister and he will surely be brought in as the Japan midfielder’s replacement. Gravenberch is still learning the patterns of play from Klopp’s side and is unlikely to usurp Jones, who is set to return to the left side of the midfield three.
Szoboszlai endeared himself further to the Anfield crowd with his goal involvement, five minutes after his introduction, and is set to reclaim the starting berth, at Elliott’s expense.
The lively Ben Doak didn’t do his selection claims no harm with another sparkling display down the right-hand side for Liverpool but continuing his role in the starting 11 is unlikely with Mohamed Salah waiting in the wings.
Luis Diaz will be raring to be back in action, this weekend. The Colombian was at his flamboyant best on Wednesday, albeit enjoying his pre-match preparations as a substitute and his form from the offset makes him a credible option as a starter.
Nunez was called upon as he was introduced alongside goalscorer, Szoboszlai. The Uruguayan had Anfield on its feet with his relentless and stubborn pressing as he continues to impress this season.
Gakpo exuded confidence and his effort three minutes after the break reiterated that he is far from out of the conversation surrounding Liverpool’s attacking options.
After struggling in the early stages of the season, the former PSV captain was an outsource for interlinking play for the Reds and swapped positions with Jota which proved troublesome for the Foxes.
But Nunez’s starting role from the bench could provide a snippet into team selection on Saturday, after starting against LASK and West Ham.
Predicted Liverpool line-up to face Tottenham Hotspur: Alisson; Gomez. Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Szoboszlai, Mac Allister, Jones; Salah, Nunez, Diaz.