17 Oct 2016

Liverpool XI vs. ManU: €46m injury boost; Klopp reveals possible goalkeeper 'decision'; shock start for LFC's forgotten man?

Rejoice! The mind-numbingly tedious international break is finally over, and Liverpool return to action with a potentially exciting Premier League clash against Manchester United.

Pre-match news:

* Klopp on defenders: "Dejan [Lovren] and Nathaniel [Clyne] trained Tuesday and Wednesday so they are in the race".

* Klopp on midfielders: "Gini and Adam are both not ruled out for Monday. I can wait until I make my final decision".

* Klopp on Mignolet/Karius: "It’s a decision between two very strong goalkeepers. I can’t say: ‘Today you, tomorrow you’, like I may with a defender or full-back or striker. It’s not possible. I will make my decision.”

* Klopp on Man Utd: "It's a very important game. They have big quality and we have to respect this, as we do. But this is Anfield. We have to show this".

* Phil Thompson's view: "Ibrahimovic is the biggest danger to Liverpool's defence. Set-pieces will be a real area of concern".

* Dietmar Hamann's view: "He [Rooney] has to play. He is a big asset, and importantly he has the mentality of a winner".

* Lawro's Prediction: "I think United will struggle to deal with Liverpool's gegenpressing. Quite often with these big games I go for a draw but on this occasion I fancy Liverpool [to win 2-0]".

* Klopp on Mourinho: "It's bulls^&t [criticism of Mourinho]. He [Mourinho] knows how successful football works. To like or not like the way he plays, why should he care?".

* Mourinho on Klopp: "I don't have much to say".

My preferred lineup (without Lallana and Wijnaldum, as both may miss the game)

------------- Karius
Clyne --- Lovren - Matip ---- Milner
------------ Can - Hendo
------------ Coutinho
Mane ------ Sturridge - Firmino

After several games in a row for the U23s, Danny Ings didn't play in their last game, and that may mean that Klopp plans to include him on the bench for the Man Utd game. Could Ings even start the game? It seems unlikely, but you never know.

Mane claims Liverpool 'will beat Manchester United', but Mourinho is no mug, and he will have a game-plan for this match. Plus, with the likes of Pogba, Ibrahimovic, Mata, and Rashford in the ranks, United have the firepower to capitalise on the Reds' ongoing defensive issues.

This is a massive game for Mourinho - with his managerial ability under scrutiny after his Chelsea failure, and middling start to life at Old Trafford, he needs to prove he's still got the magic touch, and a victory over Liverpool will go some way to answering his critics.

Obviously, I hope Mane's prediction turns out to be correct (!)

* Clyne and Lovren: Combined €46m value (CIES)


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