Jordan Henderson is in line to start while Thiago Alcantara remains unavailable for Liverpool as they get ready to face Ajax in the UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool will be aiming to seal qualification to the knockout stages of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League when they lock horns with Dutch heavyweights AFC Ajax in a Group D encounter at Anfield on Tuesday.
Injury issues just do not seem to be letting up for Jurgen Klopp & co. as the Reds will be without veteran midfielder James Milner on Tuesday after he picked up a hamstring problem at the weekend against Brighton & Hove Albion. He joins the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri on the sidelines.
Issuing an update on the squad, Klopp, in his pre-match presser said on Monday, “They are all getting closer to being back, [but] not close enough for tomorrow, I think. With Naby, we have to check there still, but with the other two, they will not be ready.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 30, 2020
Apart from the aforementioned players, Liverpool are also without the services of key defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, both of whom are long-term injury absentees. With the duo unavailable and Nathaniel Phillips ineligible to feature in the Champions League, Joel Matip should start alongside Fabinho at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
With no Alexander-Arnold and Milner to call upon, Klopp will have to count on Neco Williams to do the job at right-back once again, in spite of his poor display at the weekend. Andrew Robertson, who also did not enjoy the best of games against Brighton, will continue at left-back. Alisson Becker is the undisputed starter in goal.
Coming to the midfield department, marquee summer signing Thiago Alcantara continues to be unavailable for selection and Klopp admitted that the Spaniard will be sidelined for a few more weeks.
“It is not massive and he trains from time to time, not in the moment because we just have to realise that we have to go a few further steps. I can’t say exactly when he will be fine, but it will take a few weeks still with Thiago,” the German tactician said.
With Thiago and Milner unavailable and Keita a doubt, club captain Jordan Henderson should start in the middle of the park against Ajax, after having made his return from injury at the weekend. The Liverpool skipper ought to have Georginio Wijnaldum as his partner in the midfield double pivot on Tuesday, although Curtis Jones is also an option.
Up ahead, the front four picks itself as Diogo Jota is indispensable in his current form, while the importance of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to this Liverpool side cannot be overstated.
Jota should take up the right flank, while Mane slots in on the left with Firmino playing off of Salah, who will take up a central position, although there should be plenty of fluidity and interchanging of positions between the quartet.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson; Williams, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Jota, Firmino, Mane; Salah