25 Jan 2017

Confirmed Team News: 'Superb' £40m star injured; Massive boost for Liverpool; Surprise start for LFC outcast?

After just one win in six games, Liverpool will hopefully get back to winning ways against Southampton at Anfield tonight.

Ahead of the game, here is the confirmed team news:

* 'superb' Southampton stalwart Virgil Van Dijk is out of the game after suffering an ankle injury over the weekend.

* When asked on Monday about £40m-rated Van Dijk Claude Puel told reporters: "I don't know if we can recover him [Van Dijk]. He took a big kick and could not continue the game".

* Puel also confirmed that U21 star Jack Stephens is set to replace Van Dijk: "If he has to play this game, I think he will play with good spirit and he's a good player. He has the quality and I have full confidence with Jack".

* Philippe Coutinho and Nathaniel Clyne missed training on Monday, which suggests both players may still be suffering the after effects of their recent injuries.

* Jordan Henderson is fit for the game, however. Klopp confirmed: "He [Hendo] got a knock [against Swansea]. It’s not the moment to feel nothing, he always feels a little bit, but he can cope with it.”

* Joel Matip came through an U23 game unscathed over the weekend, and Klopp confirmed on Monday that there are no new injuries, so that suggests that Matip is fit to start tomorrow.

After the recent poor run, it's vital to start building momentum again, so I'm sure Klopp will field his strongest available XI in a bid to get a victory. My preferred team (Fitness permitting):

-------------- Mignolet
Clyne --- Lovren -- Matip ---- Moreno
---- Lallana -- Hendo -- Wijnaldum
---- Milner -- Firmino - Coutinho

Unfortunately, with no viable back-up for Mane, it almost certainly means that Klopp will play Emre Can *shudder* and play Lallana out wide. Or Klopp could actually solve he problem (for this particular game) by - shock horror - playing Moreno and Milner their natural positions. In my view, the benefits of having a balanced front three (and no Can) outweighs the possible negative of having Moreno back in the team.


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