A look at how Liverpool could line up against Brentford on Saturday
Jurgen Klopp made three Liverpool changes for Wednesday’s visit from Fulham, after largely sticking with the same lineup in recent weeks.
Kostas Tsimikas’ return allowed Andy Robertson to rest from his trademark hard-running style at left-back, while captain Jordan Henderson replaced Harvey Elliott, who has played a lot of football for someone who only turned 16 last month.
The most noticeable change came up top, where Darwin Nunez started his first game since the goalless draw with Chelsea a month ago alongside Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz, who was given back-to-back starts for the first time since September.
Nunez ran himself to a halt in a ferocious cameo, winning the penalty that allowed Mohamed Salah to score the game-winning penalty in the first half. “He was a racehorse,” Klopp said following the game. “He went for everybody.”
The question is whether the £64 million striker has done enough to keep his spot. After a difficult start owing to the club’s difficult situation at the turn of the year, Gakpo is starting to show his true quality on a regular basis and appears to be the most trusted No.9 in a six-man forward department right now.
This could result in a recall for the Netherlands international up top, as Nunez attempts to regain rhythm after a handful of substitute appearances in the last month. The Uruguay international, on the other hand, could be asked to play on the left side of the front three.
Luis Diaz’s workload at Liverpool has been heavy for a player who was sidelined for six months and had knee surgery in December. Could the Colombian international be rested this weekend?
Nunez will be hoping for a start in the wide area if that happens, but a lot depends on Diogo Jota, whose five goals in recent weeks have earned him a Player of the Month nomination. The Portugal international was hit in the back during the first half of last week’s win over West Ham and has since been used as a substitute.
But, after a few more days to fully recover, could Jota be called back? These are at least the welcome selection quandaries for Klopp as Brentford prepare to arrive on Merseyside.
Thiago Alcantara will not play in midfield after suffering a hip injury earlier in the season. Elliott could return, but Curtis Jones is expected to play on after showing good form in recent weeks.
Fabinho was a standout against Fulham and will most likely anchor the midfield once more. It appears to be a choice between Henderson and Elliott for this one. There are few genuine claims from the rest of the squad.
At the back, Robertson is expected to replace Tsimikas, with Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, and Alisson Becker all expected to keep their positions.