The Liverpool Echo reported this morning that Jordan Henderson is potentially losing his race against time to be fit for the crunch match against Arsenal on Monday evening.
The captain is one of, if not the first names on the team-sheet, so if he’s unavailable, Brendan Rodgers has a serious decision to make regarding his selection – having chosen the same XI for the first two matches of the season.
The back five including Simon Mignolet, having yet to concede a goal, picks itself, even though many fans would prefer Mamadou Sakho’s inclusion.
That means Nathaniel Clyne line up at fullback and Dejan Lovren partners first-choice Martin Skrtel.
In midfield, we can expect Emre Can to directly replace Henderson – like he did versus Bournemouth on Monday. James Milner will keep a spot in the centre and wear the captain’s armband, but this could also be Lucas Leiva’s chance – providing he hasn’t already left on loan to join Besiktas, as is being heavily reported in the Daily Mail.
A midfield two of Can and Milner could be a little light, and Lucas’s defensive contribution in there would help counter the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and a drifting Aaron Ramsey centrally.
Christian Benteke naturally spearheads the side, while Coutinho is an automatic selection too. So Adam Lallana, Jordon Ibe and Roberto Firmino could be competing for one other spot.
Despite his weak start to the season, Lallana might get the nod due to his work-rate and pressing.
Of course, if Lucas isn’t in contention – Coutinho will play no.10 ahead of Milner and Can, with Lallana likely on the left, and one of either Ibe or Firmino on the right.
This could leave us short in the middle, but if Lucas has left, or won’t play because he is leaving, we may have to select the team shown in the second infographic.
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