The perfect start may be over after Liverpool were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Chelsea – however the Reds will be looking for redemption as they travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday in the Premier League.
Despite the Anfield defeat on Wednesday night Jurgen Klopp’s side are still the only team in the league competition not to have lost or drawn a game and will be looking to continue that immaculate league form.
And if the Reds beat Chelsea on Saturday evening, they will be the only team in the history of the Premier League to have won the first seven games in a row.
Liverpool made eight changes to their starting line-up which beat Southampton before Maurizio Sarri’s side inflicted the first defeat of the season upon them.This in itself gives good reason to assume why Klopp will make a number of changes before he faces the same tie again in London on Saturday.There is a comfortable argument to be made that the entire back line is going to be switched for Saturday’s game.
It’s safe to assume Simon Mignloet will make way for Alisson Becker in between the sticks.
Unquestionably Alberto Moreno, who was poor in the League Cup match, will be dropped for the imperious Andy Robertson.
Liverpool’s world-class centre-back Virgil van Dijk should also come back into the side, providing there are no niggling problems with his ribs that forced him off during the Saints game.
He will likely be paired with Joe Gomez in the heart of defence after the duo made a sensational start to the season together – Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, who was handed his first start for the Reds against Southampton, will therefore make way.In the midfield Fabinho was handed his full Liverpool debut in the Carabao Cup tie but looked slightly off the pace following his £40million summer move from Monaco.
It is probable, then, that the Brazilian will be named on the bench for the match with either captain Jordan Henderson or Georginio Wijnaldum taking his place in the stating line-up.
Now the other two that joined Fabinho in the midfield against Chelsea were James Milner and Naby Keita.The Guinean international was bright during the match and has had some strong spells during his match appearances so far this season, though it remains to be seen if he has done enough to keep his place when the aforementioned Henderson and Wijnaldum are back for selection.
Milner has been both tireless and excellent in every single game he has played this season and will rightly feel aggrieved if he doesn’t make the starting XI.Further forward and there are two players who could rightly feel aggrieved if Klopp doesn’t select them in the side – like he did for the Carabao Cup – Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge.On both occasions they have started for Liverpool they have been bright and a constant attacking threat – with the striker scoring twice in two appearances.The only issue is the fact Liverpool have three of the world’s best attackers in Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane – a welcome selection headache for Klopp if there ever was one.
There could be a similar line-up like we saw at Southampton with Shaqiri making the same team as the other front three – although it is easily arguable that the regular and unbeaten 4-3-3 league formation will be the German manager’s preferred choice.