Predicted Liverpool team to face Arsenal: Klopp has selection dilemma over two stars

Sadio Mane scores, Liverpool celeb v Atletico Madrid in the Champions League tie at Anfield

Anfield is ready to welcome supporters back and the predicted Liverpool team to face Arsenal sees Jurgen Klopp face a double selection dilemma.

The Reds are out to prove themselves on Saturday, following their first defeat of the season at West Ham. Klopp’s men looked largely second-best and consequently fell below their opponents to fourth in the table.

However, they also lost ground on their title rivals. Manchester City beat Manchester United and Chelsea’s draw with Burnley took them four points clear of Liverpool.

Asked about the title race in his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal, Klopp insisted that his side’s focus should instead be on their immediate form.

“It’s early for the title race but stay up there, we know we need to stay in and around the league and we haven’t had enough good results in last few weeks,” he said.

“We lost at West Ham, but we know we have to perform and fight. That’s the most important information probably.

“We are at Anfield and we have to show that and make it known it is different here. It’s been a while so I cannot wait to play.”

Liverpool have an impressive record against Arsenal at Anfield in the Premier League, winning each of the past five such matches.

Last time out – West Ham 3-2 Liverpool

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Liverpool

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker endured a nightmare opening to the 3-2 defeat, scoring an own goal which was checked by VAR to put the hosts ahead.

While Trent Alexander-Arnold equalised from a free-kick, the Hammers had the last laugh with their set-pieces, Kurt Zouma heading in a corner to make it 3-1.

Substitute Divock Origi reduced the deficit once more, but the defeat dampened Liverpool’s mood heading into the international break.

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As for who else stood out for the Reds, they had a strong midfield with captain Henderson, Fabinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting. Thiago Alcantara also came off the bench.

Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane did not have their best performances up top. At the back, Klopp picked Joel Matip ahead of Ibrahima Konate alongside Virgil van Dijk.

Predicted Liverpool team against Arsenal

Thiago Alcantara, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho

While Liverpool now have options in defence unlike last season, midfield is now proving the major area of concern.

Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, James Milner and Harvey Elliott all remain out. And just as Klopp welcomed Thiago back into his ranks, he now faces a dilemma over Henderson after a knock while with England.

His manager said that he will make a “late decision” on him and Andrew Robertson. Indeed, Robertson came off for Scotland on Monday with a hamstring complaint, so Kostas Tsimikas could start at left-back.

Fabinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have started each of the last two matches, so Thiago could join them in the midfield three.

Elsewhere, Mane has recovered from a bruised rib. He will likely start alongside Salah and Jota up front while Roberto Firmino continues his recovery from his own – more serious – hamstring injury.

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In defence, Klopp could go again with Van Dijk and Matip. Klopp has been keen to keep injury-prone Matip’s minutes in check. However, the international break will have served the retired Cameroon international well.

Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mane, Jota, Salah