Jurgen Klopp has named his lineup for his first clash against Manchester United as Liverpool manager, and there is no room for either Christian Benteke or Joe Allen.
Benteke supplied Allen with the late equaliser in Wednesday’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Arsenal, but there is no start for the Belgian despite our lack of available strikers.
Roberto Firmino, who scored our opening two goals against the Gunners, will lead the line again with support from Adam Lallana and James Milner as Jordon Ibe is benched.
Lucas Leiva is Ibe’s replacement as Klopp solidifies the midfield – a sensible move but Allen might feel hard done by having had such a big impact as a substitute in midweek.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 17, 2016
This puts a lot of responsibility on Firmino and Adam Lallana to be both chief creators and goalscorers. Klopp seems to be aiming to keep things tight first and foremost.
Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure are again the defensive pair, because Klopp has few other options. New signing Steven Caulker is on the bench alongside Benteke, Allen, Ibe.
Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings, Divock Origi, Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Joe Gomez and Jordan Rossiter all miss out on the grand occasion with injuries.
United name an unchanged side from the 3-3 draw with Newcastle United, meaning that Juan Mata, who scored both goals in our 2-1 defeat in this fixture last season, is only a sub.
Anthony Martial had quite an impact in September’s reverse fixture at Old Trafford as he made a goalscoring debut for the Red Devils. He is the one we must watch out for.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 17, 2016
Liverpool v Man United preview
Jordan Henderson says his injury troubles are behind him ahead of United showdown
Klopp atones for Ferguson slip by revealing Man United rejection on eve of derby debut