Liverpool will surely select an almost full strength side tonight against Augsburg in the Europa League, with Jurgen Klopp reiterating in yesterday’s press-conference that the tournament is a priority.
If we win it, it will of course guarantee Champions League qualification, although there is the small matter of the League Cup Final in three days time on Sunday…
“It is an opportunity to prove [yourself] for Sunday. That is how it should be,” Klopp said, cited by talkSPORT.
“We have to show we are able to be 100 percent concentrated on this game and then we can look at the final.”
Simon Mignolet will take his spot between the sticks. Barring injury, he’ll play every game fro now until the end of the season we imagine.
Dejan Lovren has been taken ill, while Martin Skrtel is not yet ready to return, meaning Klopp will continue with Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure in central defence.
We’d like Lucas to play in central defence instead of Toure, but Klopp trusts the ageing Ivorian. At fullback, Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno are practical certainties.
At the moment for Klopp, Emre Can holds in central midfield with James Milner and Jordan Henderson doing the legwork either side. Joe Allen is crocked, as is Kevin Stewart – two other midfielders who’d potentially be vying for a spot if they were fit.
The front-three picks itself, although Klopp will look to bring Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge off as quickly as possible in order to keep them fresh for the Manchester City tie.
Coutinho and Roberto Firmino will flank the healthy Englishman, but Divock Origi and Christian Benteke could well be brought into the fold if we finish the game early – which would be the ideal situation.
If we go fail to find the opener, or even go behind – Klopp will have no choice but to keep his best players on the pitch. Extra Time would be a nightmare though with only three days until the final.