4-3-3: Liverpool Predicted XI to Face Watford
Liverpool travel to Watford in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff at Vicarage Road to get their 2017-18 Premier League campaigns underway.
Both teams are expected to hand debuts to some of their summer signings whilst Liverpool also have a UEFA Champions League qualifier versus 1899 Hoffenheim midweek to think about.
Watford also have a new manager in Marco Silva who was in charge of Hull City at the end of last season.
Here is the side I see Jürgen Klopp selecting for the opening game:
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
Simon Mignolet came into form at the end of last season but it still seems surprising that Liverpool haven’t invested in a new goalkeeper over the summer. Klopp has faith in the Belgian who should get the nod ahead of Loris Karius on Saturday.
Defence: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joël Matip, Dejan Lovren, James Milner
Nathaniel Clyne is expected to be ruled out with a hamstring injury so 18-year-oldTrent Alexander-Arnold is in line to start at right-back. The youngster made his Premier League debut versus Manchester United last season. Joël Matip and Dejan Lovren are Klopp’s preferred centre-back partnership and I think we’ll see James Milner retain his left-back spot despite the arrival of Andrew Robertson over the summer. The former-Hull City left-back should get time, if not become Liverpool’s first-choice in this position by the end of the season though.
Midfield: Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum
Captain Jordan Henderson will be the anchor man in midfield, spraying passes into attack. Emre Can looks to be one of Klopp’s favourite players in midfield. Whilst the German is a liability defensively he does see a lot of possession and starts attacks. Georginio Wijnaldum will start as Adam Lallana could be out for as long as three months with a thigh problem.
Attack: Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané
Philippe Coutinho is under huge speculation of a Barcelona transfer and is a doubt for this game with a supposed back injury. This opens up the opportunity for Mohamed Salah to make his Liverpool debut. I think the Egyptian will play on the right wing as his preferred role, moving Sadio Mané across to the left in Coutinho’s position. With Daniel Sturridge once again suffering an injury, Roberto Firmino looks secure to play the striker role at Vicarage Road. Jürgen Klopp has Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke as other attacking options – one or two of these should make the bench but would be a surprise if any of them started.
Here’s the Liverpool team on paper: