Jurgen Klopp will be looking to build on his League Cup victory in the midweek as he gets ready to take a Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, there could be no better way for Klopp to garner a first Premier League win, as the Champions look a shadow of the side which marched to the league title last season. Moreover, the German manager is also set to welcome a number of key players back, so that could be the additional boost he needs for this big game which kicks off at lunchtime today.
GOALKEEPER: SIMON MIGNOLET
No doubt for Klopp in this department, the Belgian has been good with his saves and distribution this season.
BACK FOUR: ALBERTO MORENO, MAMADOU SAKHO, MARTIN SKYRTEL AND NATHANIEL CLYNE
Moreno will start as left back, while Sakho, who has been in top form for the Reds this season will be the left centre back. Klopp will be glad to welcome back Skrytel and Clyne from injury, with Skrytel offering a physical presence while Clyne will bring those clever overlaps to the game.
HOLDING MIDFIELD: LUCAS LEIVA AND JAMES MILNER
The double pivot of Lucas and Milner will look to neutralise the threat Hazard or Costa might pose to the back four. Both Lucas and Milner are known for their industry and even if one of them goes up to join the attack, the other will have to stay back and close the spaces.
ATTACKING MIDFIELD: PHILLIPE COUTINHO, ROBERTO FIRMINO AND ADAM LALLANA
Coutinho is set to return. He will probably be accompanied by the improved Lallana and returning Firmino, but the Brazilian’s superb display could see Klopp – a self-proclaimed fan of the 23-year-old – opt to play him with his countryman. Coutinho is probably the best person for Klopp to build his team around, while if Lallana keeps his consistency intact and Firmino keeps settling in down the middle, this forward line could pose a considerable threat to an aged Chelsea defence with their skill and pace.
STRIKER: CHRISTIAN BENTEKE
The no. 9 is finally set to return and if he can hit the ground running, he will pose the biggest threat to the Chelsea backline. He might not have Sturridge’s pace or ability to run in behind defenders, but he is an excellent header of the ball and is also brilliant in holding the ball up so that the wide forwards can get into play. Moreover, his height and physique is also impressive, so that will be another area Mourinho needs to be weary about.