Liverpool have the opportunity to extend their eight-match unbeaten run in the top-flight when they entertain Arsenal in their stadium on Saturday evening. The Reds have already bridged a five-point gap between themselves and second-placed Tottenham Hotspur with their perfect run during the festive period and they have the chance to further extend the advantage, should they overcome Unai Emery’s men at Anfield tomorrow.
Alisson Becker has provided the calming influence in the Reds backline this term and he has already kept 12 clean sheets for the club, who hold the best defensive record across Europe’s top five leagues. The Brazilian should unquestionably start between the sticks.
In the defence, manager Jurgen Klopp should prefer his regular combination through the campaign and this should witness Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson slot into the right and left side of the backline.
Likewise, Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren are expected to take up the central defensive duties once more with the manager not being able to rotate his options with Joe Gomez (fractured leg) and Joel Matip (broken collarbone) sidelined until February at the least.
In the midfield, skipper Jordan Henderson should take up the holding midfield duties and we are fancying Fabinho to return to the lineup to partner Georginio Wijnaldum in a three-man combination.
Xherdan Shaqiri impressed during the recent 4-0 thumping of Newcastle United where he netted his third goal in just two games but Fabinho may still be preferred ahead of him with the Brazilian offering more energy and tenacity while featuring in a deeper role.
In the frontline, Klopp does not have any selection headache on his hands and the trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane should feature from the off, provided there are no fitness concerns.
Salah has started upfront in recent games but he could slot into his preferred right-wing role for the weekend with Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac potentially vulnerable when it comes to defending while tracking back from attack-minded positions.
In this case, Sadio Mane should slot into the left side of the attack while Firmino should lead the line, although he has struggled with his scoring this term. The Brazilian comes into the game with a five-match goalless streak.
Image – Liverpool’s official website