Football Digest: Liverpool start the season strong
Liverpool are set to be without full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold as they return to Premier League action with a trip to Wolves today (12.30pm). The 24-year-old limped off with a hamstring injury as the Reds beat Aston Villa 3-0 before the international break. Express Sport looks at the changes Liverpool could make at Molineux…
Alisson kept a clean sheet in Liverpool’s last outing against Aston Villa – his first of the Premier League season. The 30-year-old has been away on international duty, but was an unused substitute in both Brazil matches as Ederson kept him out of the side.
He will be hoping for an uneventful afternoon away at Wolves, where he conceded three last season, as Liverpool look for a fourth win in five matches.
Defence: Gomez, Matip, Konate, Robertson
Academy graduate Jarell Quansah is a contender to make his full Liverpool debut against Wolves with Alexander-Arnold ruled out with a hamstring injury. The 20-year-old has made two substitute appearances and could be trusted with a first start against Wolves. More likely, though, Ibrahima Konate will come in for Alexander-Arnold after his recovery from the thigh injury which kept him out of the Villa match.
The return of Konate, which would be the first change to the team, would then see Joe Gomez moved to right-back. Virgil van Dijk will miss the trip to Wolves after being sent off against Newcastle and being given an extra one-match ban from the FA.
Midfield: Jones, Endo, Szoboszlai
The midfield three of Curtis Jones, Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai may also be tweaked against Wolves. The trio played a key part in their success at Aston Villa. However, with Mac Allister returning from international duty with Argentina in Bolivia he has only had one training session.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could instead start Wataru Endo at the base of midfield. Harvey Elliott will hope to get minutes off the bench with Mac Allister but Thiago Alcantara is still yet to return to full training. When Ryan Gravenberch will make his debut is unclear as Klopp stated that the Dutchman ‘has to fit in’. He could get a cameo from the bench.
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Attack: Salah, Gakpo, Diaz
Liverpool may revert to the front three of Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo. Salah scored in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory at Aston Villa on their last outing and will play a key role again as an undisputed starter.
Darwin Nunez led the line at Villa before being replaced by Gakpo for the last 25 minutes. However, Nunez could be rested on Saturday after a taxing international break. Uruguay boss Marcelo Bielsa claimed Nunez reported for duty with muscle pains.
Despite Klopp stating the forward is ‘fine’, Nunez is likely to give Gakpo the start with the Sourth American then in line to feature off the bench and start in the Europa League next Thursday. Diaz could keep his spot on the left wing over Diogo Jota.
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