18 Dec 2016

Liverpool XI vs. Everton: €65m-duo miss training; Surprise injury boost; Klopp confirms start for 'brilliant' international

After victories for Spurs, Man City, and Man United this weekend, the heat is now well and truly on for Liverpool in the race for a place in the top four.

With just two wins in the last five league games, Liverpool are in the midst of a middling period of form, but with Arsenal losing today, there's a chance for the Reds to capitalise, and edge further towards Chelsea in top spot.

Pre-match news:

* Klopp on Karius/Mignolet: "I don't want to change each week. Simon had a really good game at Middlesbrough so he will be in goal for sure. He's in brilliant shape."

* Klopp on Sturridge: "He cannot be 100% but having Daniel for 20 minutes would be fantastic. If he is available he will be involved".

* Can and Matip missed training on Friday, which suggest they're both doubts for the trip to Everton.

* Coutinho remains out, but is due to return on New Year's Eve.

* Everton: Jagielka is suspended for the game, and Bolasie is out with a knee injury.

* Koeman's view: "[Liverpool's weakness] is the defensive side of the game. We need to press. Liverpool have conceded more goals than anyone ahead of us. The 10th most in the league, so not so good!”

In my view, Jurgen Klopp should make one significant change for this game: return Firmino to the centre-forward position. Prior to switching to the wing, Firmino had contributed 12 goals/assists in 12 games, but since the change, he's gone almost 8 hours without a goal or assist.

Origi is scoring goals, but of the two, he's far more effective (in terms of end product) coming off the wing, so it arguably makes sense to switch their positions around. Plus, if Matip misses out, Klavan instead of Lucas at centre-back, please. Possible formation:

-------------- Mignolet
Clyne --- Lovren -- Klavan ---- Milner
--- Lallana -- Hendo --- Wijnaldum
------ Mane -- Firmino -- Origi

* Can/Matip: €65m combined value (CIES Football Observatory)


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