Big hitters to return – Injuries, team news and predicted lineup vs Brighton

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane will all return to action against Brighton as attention returns to Liverpool’s title charge.

The Reds crashed out of the FA Cup in the third round after a 2-1 defeat at Wolves on Monday night, with the boss making nine changes to his side.

Youngsters Curtis Jones, Ki-Jana Hoever and Rafa Camacho made their first-team debuts. Rare starts were also handed to Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi.

The usual attacking trio of Salah, Firmino and Mane were on the bench, with the former two only coming on for the last 20 minutes with the Reds in search of an equaliser.

They have come through a busy festive period unscathed and will all return after a much-deserved rest at the Molineux.

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Salah has continued his role as the spearhead of Liverpool’s attack in recent weeks, with Firmino playing just behind him.

Mane has seen more minutes played from the right as Jurgen Klopp shakes things up to make the Reds more unpredictable and it could be more of the same on Saturday.

However, it is intriguing to see how the rest of the team line up with the manager having to contend with a range of injuries and knocks.

Limited options at the back

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The rest of the squad have been feeling the effects of an intense schedule, with Joe Gomez (ankle) and Joel Matip (collarbone) out since December.

Gomez is expected to be back in action around the start of February whilst this weekend’s trip to the Amex Stadium will come too soon for Matip.

The Cameroon international is expected to make a return against Crystal Palace next Saturday, however.

Meanwhile, Dejan Lovren suffered a hamstring injury in the defeat to Wolves, coming off in the opening 5 minutes to be replaced by 16-year-old Hoever.

The Croatian centre-back is a major doubt and is extremely likely to miss this weekend‘s fixture, although he has not been ruled out of the game against Palace.

It leaves Klopp with a bit of a dilemma at the back, with Virgil van Dijk the only available centre-back in the squad to face Chris Hughton’s side.

Fabinho started alongside Lovren against Wolves, and the Brazilian is the most likely candidate to continue in that role, pairing up with van Dijk.

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The 25-year-old is a regular fixture at right-back for Brazil, whilst he featured there whilst breaking in to the side at former club Monaco.

Monday’s fixture was his first real experience as a centre-back and, whilst he suffered some difficult moments, he didn’t look completely out of his depth either.

He will be helped by the return of Andy Robertson, who will undoubtedly replace Moreno at left-back. The Spaniard flattered to deceive once again ahead of a possible departure in the summer.

Trent Alexander-Arnold should join Fabinho, van Dijk and Robertson in the back-four ahead of goalkeeper Alisson, who is certain to return after a rest at Wolves.

Changes expected in midfield

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Klopp confirmed that both Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana were in his plans ahead of the FA Cup defeat but were late withdrawals to the side.

Henderson was feeling the after-effects of a knock against Manchester City last week, whilst Lallana suffered a muscle injury in the last training session ahead of the game.

Jones, James Milner and Naby Keita started in Liverpool’s midfield against Wolves, but it is likely that the Reds field an entirely different trio this Saturday.

The Liverpool skipper is expected to be back fit for this weekend’s clash and is a likely starter in his usual No.6 position.

He is likely to be joined by Gini Wijnaldum, who will return to the side and look to continue his fine run of form in recent weeks.

Keita delivered a mixed performance in midfield against Wolves, after being an unused substitute in Liverpool’s last three league games, and he could see himself back on the bench.

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Xherdan Shaqiri started in a more advanced role but the boss could call on him as the link between midfield and attack for the south-coast clash.

Milner could be retained in the side should Klopp choose a more reserved side, however Shaqiri is likely to get the nod alongside Henderson and Wijnaldum.

Although, much depends on the system Klopp chooses to use away from home, with a 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 both likely options for the manager.

Predicted Lineup

Brighton vs Liverpool
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Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri, Mane, Firmino, Salah.

Brighton vs Liverpool kicks off at 3pm on Saturday and you can keep up with all the action via LFC Globe’s live match-day coverage.

Big hitters to return – Injuries, team news and predicted lineup vs Brighton was originally published on LFC Globe. Follow us on Twitter for our latest updates.




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