4-3-3: Predicted starting lineup: Klopp to make four changes against Benfica

Liverpool are preparing to face Benfica in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals and Jurgen Klopp has a full squad to choose from.

The German will be over the moon that his entire squad is fit to face their Portuguese opponents this evening but for once, he may not take full advantage of the depth available to him.

The next two games are the most important games he will play so far this season, with Manchester City in the Premier League set to follow on Sunday.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Juergen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool and Alisson Becker of Liverpool interact following their side's victory in the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool at American Express Community Stadium on March 12, 2022 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

In goal, it’s pretty obvious that Alisson Becker will start while Trent Alexander Arnold is set to return from injury.

Joe Gomez did a fantastic job in his place, assisting Diogo Jota superbly at the weekend and covering for Joel Matip at the back by using his pace although his passing between the lines wasn’t as sharp as it could have been but that was to be expected given it was just his second start of the season.

Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip should both start in the middle of defence while Andy Robertson is nailed on to start at left-back.

Andy Robertson

In midfield, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago Alcantara should be the trio that starts as they need to start against Manchester City on Sunday as well.

Therefore, Klopp will want them to have match rhythm but he may want to rest Thiago given that three games in a week may be too much for him but I doubt he will.

Naby Keita and Curtis Jones are both fit despite injury concerns although I don’t expect either to start given the importance of the game.

Naby Keita

In attack, Klopp is simply spoilt for choice. Mohamed Salah is likely to start but I feel he needs a rest soon as he is very clearly burnt out from all the international football he has played in 2022.

Alongside the Egyptian, I expect Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane to play although I hope Klopp goes for Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota as the latter is especially needed as his goalscoring form of late has been fantastic.

He has four goals and an assist in his last five games for club and country.

Predicted starting XI: Alisson; Trent, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Henderson; Diaz, Mane, Salah.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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