Predicted Liverpool XI vs Sevilla- No.10 temptation, a £35m man & defensive decisions

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If a 5-0 defeat away to Manchester City doesn’t give Jurgen Klopp selection dilemmas to get his head around, then nothing will.

Besides being a shambolic and dysfunctional defensive display at the Etihad Stadium, it was a toothless one lacking of the resilience and hunger that so often makes the Reds a team to be feared.

Wednesday night will see Liverpool host Sevilla in their opening Champions League group stage match, with the La Liga side representing a different threat, but one more than capable of spoiling the evening.

Adjustments to the starting lineup will be in aid of not only striving to strengthen the defence, but also ensuring the right characters are at hand to inspire a response.

Though the expectation is that James Milner won’t start, it would come as no surprise if Klopp were to turn to his experience and work ethic.

A more pressing concern will be at the back, with not one member of Liverpool’s defensive quartet against City covering himself in any glory.

Coming off the back of that performance, there is a strong chance Dejan Lovren will replace Ragnar Klavan alongside the first choice Joel Matip, with a more defensively-inclined Joe Gomez coming in for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.

An interesting feature to the back five could be in the goalkeeping department, with Klopp set to put his faith in Loris Karius as his Champions League shot-stopper. A decision that has inevitably divided supporters.

Whilst Milner starting at left-back is an option plenty of Reds would, understandably, consider, it seems unlikely Klopp will look beyond Alberto Moreno once again. That’s, of course, despite the availability of summer signing Andrew Robertson.

If this is the case, it marks a big night for the Spaniard as he faces his former club- who he struggled against in Liverpool’s 2015/2016 Europa League final defeat.

Klopp’s midfield trio is where things start to get interesting, with a certain No.10 once again in the mix.

Georginio Wijnaldum, with the 4-0 win over Arsenal being the exception, has endured an unproductive start to the new season and has opened the door for not only Philippe Coutinho to slot straight back into the starting eleven, but also for new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to push for an opportunity.

For us, a fearless Klopp gives the players a lift and puts his Brazilian maestro in alongside Emre Can and Jordan Henderson.

A special European night under the Anfield lights represents a special stage on which the little magician can remind fans of just how valuable he is.

Up top, there will be no surprises. The formidable trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will spearhead the team, with the latter eager to make a statement following his controversial sending off at the weekend.

They are angry, they’re upset, but they’re desperate to make amends and they will take some stopping.

Here’s our predicted XI…

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