Jurgen Klopp can finally unleash Liverpool midfield change as long-term solution highlighted


Liverpool suffered only a second defeat in 28 games when they were on the receiving end of a Europa League shock at Toulouse on Thursday evening. Jarell Quansah had a strike controversially disallowed deep into injury time as the Reds slumped to a 3-2 reverse to leave themselves with work still to do to reach the knockout stages.

Liverpool will now resume their Premier League challenge when they entertain Brentford on Sunday afternoon. And here we look ahead to the changes Jurgen Klopp could make when his team are next in action.

The 'midweek team' perhaps had one heavy rotation too many in France after a disappointing performance from a team that saw nine changes. But injuries and suspension mean several players could keep their place in the starting line-up for the weekend.

Alisson Becker will return in goal with Caoimhin Kelleher dropping back to the bench and Adrian again available after being ineligible for the Europa League, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is primed to return at right-back with Joe Gomez another option in the ongoing absence of Conor Bradley.

The versatility of Gomez, though, means he could begin at left-back ahead of Kostas Tsimikas, who was replaced at half-time in France after a poor first half. Youngster Luke Chambers is an alternative with Andy Robertson likely to be out until the New Year.

Liverpool are satisfied with their current holding midfield options, even if the jury arguably remains out beyond Anfield’s walls.

The Reds sold Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in the summer following unexpected interest from Saudi Arabia, with Wataru Endo brought in as a senior number six from VfB Stuttgart after moves for Moises Caicedo, Romeo Lavia, and Andre Trindade had been unsuccessful.

Yet the Japan international has endured a slow start to his Liverpool career, starting just once in the Premier League, while he was withdrawn at half-time in Thursday’s 3-2 defeat to Toulouse after a disappointing display. The evidence so far would suggest that Endo is nothing more than a squad option, with the 30-year-old hardly fitting into the Reds’ traditional preferred profile of signing.

Alexis Mac Allister has instead predominantly lined up as Liverpool’s deeper option, despite it not being the Argentina international’s favoured position, with his performances in the role unsurprisingly being inconsistent and at times unconvincing. Elsewhere, Trent Alexander-Arnold is an option for the position, while Stefan Bajcetic is feeling his way back from long-term injury after a breakthrough campaign last year.

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