COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can are likely to start in place of the injured duo Adam Lallana and Georginio Wijnaldum in a Liverpool team that can tear Manchester United apart.
The Merseysiders will miss the two mainstays of the opening months of their promising campaign but their possible replacements should ensure that Jurgen Klopp’s team does not suffer.
Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum is likely to be absent but Can offers an ideal replacement while Lallana’s inclusion is still uncertain.
Wijnaldum came off after 60 minutes during his country’s 1-0 defeat against France and Lallana is struggling to recover from a hamstring injury he picked up in the Reds’ 2-1 win against Swansea.
If the Englishman is forced to sit out, Philippe Coutinho could drop into a more central role and Sturridge will likely come into the starting line-up as the centre forward.
Can has made just three substitute first team appearances for Liverpool this season but is expected to start alongside Jordan Henderson in a deep midfield role.
Henderson captained England last week against Slovenia and has been hugely impressive so far this season for his club, recording more successful forward passes than any player in the league.
Roberto Firmino has been one of Liverpool’s best players so far and Klopp has preferred the Brazilian to Sturridge as the lone striker.
However, injuries may force a re-shuffle in positions and Firmino will likely move out wide to make room for Sturridge in the centre.
Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren have built a strong partnership at centre-back and the pair should retain their places in defence, as well as James Milner and Nathaniel Clyne in the full-back positions.
Liverpool’s goalkeeping controversies continue but Loris Karius is expected to be start under the sticks after Klopp showed faith in the young keeper for the games against Hull and Swansea.
This side has the ability to press United into making mistakes and with Henderson and Can on hand to provide added protection for the back four, it looks like a balanced XI.
The Reds will miss Lallana’s work-rate in attack but Coutinho has shown on numerous occasions in the past he can be dangerous through the centre.
Liverpool’s attack has nine league goals between them so far this season and although Sturridge is yet to score in the Premier League so far, he’s got the talent to cause United’s defence problems.
In the latest Liverpool news, Henderson reveals why Jose Mourinho’s presence in the dug-out will spur his side on against United.