31 Jan 2017

Confirmed Teams: Klopp drops £30m Liverpool star; 'excellent' attacker out; massive injury boost (or gamble)

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has made a couple of potentially costly gambles for tonight's Premier League clash with Chelsea.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino

SUBS: Karius, Klavan, Moreno, Lucas, Mane, Origi, Sturridge

CHELSEA: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Cahill (c); Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Diego Costa, Hazard.

* On Monday, Klopp confirmed that Nathaniel Clyne missed training, and insisted that he wouldn't take a 'risk' on the right-back. 24-hours later, he's in the starting lineup, which suggests he's been rushed back (again).

* Emre Can starts again? He played well in the last game, but good form is the exception rather than rule for Can this season, and if the German reverts back to his usual form, Chelsea will capitalise.

* The inclusion of Can almost certainly means that Lallana will play out wide, where he's largely been ineffective this season.

* Klopp has dumped all Academy players from the squad for today's game, which probably makes sense given the importance of getting a result.

* Sadio Mane is on the bench, which is a boost, but Klopp must've looked 'into his eyes' and decreed that he's not ready to start such a high intensity game. Still, a great option to bring off the bench.

* Chelsea leave 'excellent' attacker Pedro on the bench, with Willian coming into the team in his place, which (IMO) shows that Conte is going for work rate and solidity over flair (in that particular position).

Probable formation:

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

* Sturridge: £30m-rated. Hailed last week by Gerrard as a 'phenomenal' goalscorer


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