Jurgen Klopp faces a decision over whether to start Trent Alexander-Arnold immediately upon his return from injury, as Liverpool visit Tottenham.
The Reds face arguably their biggest test yet on Saturday evening, as they take on Ange Postecoglou’s unbeaten Spurs at their own ground.
Under the Australian, Tottenham are one of only four sides yet to suffer defeat in the Premier League, but Liverpool are also in that group and sit above them in second.
On the back of four consecutive 3-1 victories, including a comeback at Leicester in the League Cup in midweek, Klopp is expected to rotate again.
So how could Liverpool line up in north London?
Klopp gave a welcome update on Friday, with one in and one out:
- Alexander-Arnold back training and “looks like he can be in the squad”
- But “little setback” for Stefan Bajcetic (calf) – “have to take him out”
- Thiago (hip) and Conor Bradley (back) both “still out”
Liverpool’s XI vs. Tottenham
The big question looming over Klopp in the buildup to Saturday’s game is whether to bring Alexander-Arnold straight back into the starting lineup after four games out.
Liverpool’s vice-captain missed three due to a hamstring injury and the League Cup clash with Leicester was deemed “too early” for him to make his comeback, but Klopp confirmed on Friday that he “can be in the squad.”
It is questionable whether he will one of a likely 10 changes to the side at the weekend, however, with the in-form Joe Gomez a safer bet at right-back.
Here’s how the Reds could shape up:
Those alterations from Wednesday would see this lineup:
Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Jones; Salah, Diaz, Nunez
However, there remains a chance Klopp starts Alexander-Arnold after a full week of training, with other options elsewhere too.
The manager may be required to rest Konate, for example, having played 90 minutes against Leicester, with Joel Matip a possibility at centre-back.
Meanwhile, there is a case to argue that, having been the only player to start the wins over both West Ham and Leicester in the space of four days, Jones could come out and Ryan Gravenberch come in.
And while it may not be a popular decision, the fact remains that Darwin Nunez is yet to start an away game in the Premier League this season.
With that in mind, Klopp could opt for the following:
- Alexander-Arnold back in while Matip partners Van Dijk
- Gravenberch in for first Premier League start alongside Mac Allister and Szoboszlai
- Cody Gakpo to lead the line, flanked by Salah and Diaz
If that is the case, this is how Liverpool would look:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Gravenberch; Salah, Diaz, Gakpo
The fact it is an away game, against possibly the Reds’ toughest opponent yet, may make Klopp’s starting lineup more difficult to predict.
But Liverpool would still be expected to field their strongest possible side and go all out for a sixth win in seven to start the league campaign.