Liverpool Expected XI to Face Huddersfield

A selected few of the Anfield Edition team have picked their Liverpool XI’s to face Huddersfield on Saturday.

 

Vinolin Naidoo – I expect Shaqiri to start against Huddersfield 

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The international break has come and gone, though Liverpool face somewhat of an injury crisis. Virgil Van Dijk, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita have all picked up various knocks during the past fortnight.

Mane and Keita are both not expected to play any minutes on Saturday. This opens the door for Xherdan Shaqiri to start the game against Huddersfield.

However, Van Dijk and Mo Salah should be fine for the clash. James Milner was replaced in the first half against Man City with a hamstring injury, and reports are that he has won his race to be fit for the weekend’s game. However, I would not play him and he deserves an additional few more days to rest.

The defense picks itself for this weekend’s game, and I expect Alisson, TAA, Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren and Andy Robertson to line up against The Terriers. Klopp has gone back to the Lovren and VVD combination and I don’t see why he would change that against Huddersfield. Joe Gomez, unfortunately, misses out here.

Due to injuries to Milner and Keita, Klopp has no option but to tinker with his midfield. I would start the game with a midfield three of Gini Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.

I would rather have added Xherdan Shaqiri to that midfield to add some creative quality to the side, but as mentioned by Klopp during the Reds home win against Southampton, with Shaqiri in the midfield, Liverpool lose some of the balance and control of the game.

Upfront, Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino and Shaqiri should all start with Shaqiri adding speed, width and creativity on the flank for a like-for-like replacement for the injured Sadio Mane.

(My XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Shaqiri, Salah, Firmino)

 

Sam Whitehead – Salah to feature in a central role 

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As each week passes, Liverpool’s decision to pay (what at the time was) a world record fee for Alisson has been increasingly justified. Therefore, barring any shock decisions, I’d expect to see the Brazilian line up in goal once again.

Now the back four. Lovren started the previous game and put in an impressive display. However, I still feel that Gomez and Van Dijk are a better partnership with a greater understanding between the pair.

After showing defensive frailties against Napoli, it was understandable why Trent was dropped to the bench against the champions. But, Saturday’s opponents have struggled to find goals this season, so I would expect Alexander-Arnold to return to the side.

Before the season started, many questioned the role Wijnaldum would have with Liverpool’s new found depth in midfield. Now he’s a regular starter and likely to feature at the weekend.

Mr reliable, James Milner has made a remarkably quick recovery from his hamstring injury which also makes him a major contender to start.

Naby Keita is unlikely to feature after sustaining an injury which saw him carried off on a team mate’s back. This will probably see Henderson start the game.

With Mane’s thumb injury, it’s unlikely he’ll be risked. Sturridge is in great form but Klopp appears to see him as an impact sub.

I’d expect to see Salah start in a more central role which may help him find the net and form once again. Shaqiri would then take up his role on the right. This could see Firmino play on the left wing, which may not be his natural or favoured position but his work rate will be vital.

Liverpool have a few injury concerns but nevertheless should have enough to pick up the win on Saturday.

(My XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Firmino, Salah, Shaqiri)

 

Owen Maers – Tough decision to make over poor performing Henderson and inexperienced Fabinho

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Fresh from the International break used to be a good thing, but with injuries plaguing the squad Liverpool have been left with limited options. Naby Keita and Sadio Mane both picked up injuries on duty that should leave them out of action, while Mo Salah was also rocked but should be fit to start.

There’s debate over whether he should maintain his place at all, with his form taking a big hit this season. However, he will have eyes on this game to return to his best folllowing a maginificent goal from a corner for Egypt.

Trent Alexander-Arnold should return to the side, with Joe Gomez looking out of place at full-back but the superior central defender as apposed to Dejan Lovren. The aforementioned Mane will likely be replaced by Xherdan Shaqiri with this being a no-brainer for Jurgen Klopp.

As for Keita, it’s much tougher to choose between a poor performing Jordan Henderson and the inexperienced Fabinho. Experience will likely come out on top with Henderson occupying the holding role.

(My XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Shaqiri, Salah, Firmino)

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