4 Feb 2017

Confirmed Teams: Liverpool suffer late injury blow; Surprise as Klopp dumps 'exciting' £25m star

As expected, Sadio Mane starts his first game since his returning from the African Cup of Nations.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Clyne, Lucas, Matip, Milner, Can, Henderson, Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho, Mane

SUBS: Karius, Sturridge, Origi, Gomez, Moreno, Alexander, Wijnaldum

HULL: Jakupovic, Elabdellaoui, Dawson, Maguire, Robertson, Grosicki, N'Diaye, Huddlestone, Clucas, Goebel, Hern√°ndez

* Wijnaldum is dropped to the bench to accommodate Mane, with Emre Can getting the nod in midfield.

* So, Klopp's logic here is to drop the player who put in a man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea *and* scored the vital equalising goal. Superb man-management (Not). Ridiculous decision.

* According to LFC: "Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan miss today's game due to a knee injury and illness respectively".

* The positive is that Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, and Man are together again after a long hiatus, and that quartet is clearly Liverpool's most potent front four.

Lovren's injury underlines yet again the urgent need to sign another top-class centre-back this summer. Both Matip and Lovren just cannot be relied upon to remain fit for a consistent period of time, which is not conducive to building a settled defensive unit. Probable formation:

------------- Mignolet
Clyne ---- Lucas - Matip ---- Milner
--- Lallana - Hendo --- Can
-- Mane ---- Firmino --- Coutinho

^ Wijnaldum: Hailed by Klopp for his 'exciting' potential. Cost Liverpool £25m.


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