Liverpool are – at last – in Premier League action again in just over a week as the Reds travel to the east coast to take on Norwich City.
The Canaries are back in the country’s top flight after winning the EFL Championship title last season.
Liverpool ended last term well, snatching third place from Chelsea and Leicester City in the final few weeks, and will be hoping to start the new campaign just as strongly.
Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk made their long-awaited returns last week, coming off the bench to feature against Hertha Berlin in a 4-3 loss.
But it’s unclear if Jurgen Klopp is willing to throw them back in at the deep end against Norwich on the opening day of the new Premier League season.
With that being said, here’s Empire of the Kop’s predicted starting XI for Liverpool’s 2021/22 curtain raiser…
In goal will be Alisson – with a few training sessions under his belt over the next week-and-a-half, he’ll be ready to go again.
A back four of Joel Matip, Ibou Konate, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson makes the most sense to us, with Gomez and van Dijk only just returning after spending the best part of 12 months side-lined.
Nat Phillips is definitely in with a shout to start alongside Matip, but we think Klopp will favour his sole new signing.
A midfield trio of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago is probably nailed-on, with Naby Keita perhaps earning a left-field shout for his outstanding performances in pre-season.
And the titular front three of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino will surely be the boss’ go-to.
EOTK’s XI: Alisson, Matip, Konate, Trent, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Mane, Firmino