By Alex Stevens
Jurgen Klopp is likely to be forced to change a winning team as Liverpool prepare for Monday’s showdown against Manchestser United.
The Merseysiders produced some outstanding football while securing five consecutive wins before the international break.
But it is expected that injuries will force Klopp to tweak the side that beat Swansea 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium 12 days ago.
Adam Lallana sustained a groin injury in the early stages of Liverpool’s last Premier League match and is facing a race against time to play against United.
Given that the in-form England international has not yet returned to training, it appears that he is struggling to win his fitness battle.
Meanwhile, Georgino Wijnaldum became the latest Liverpool player to suffer a muscle problem when he broke down with a hamstring injury during Holland’s 1-0 defeat to France on Monday.
If scans show the Dutch midfielder has torn a muscle, then Klopp could be forced to make two changes in midfield.
This paves the way for Emre Can to make his first league start of what has been a frustrating start to the season for German, who has struggled to shake off a niggling ankle injury.
Can can step into Wijnaldum’s central midfield role and allow Henderson to push 15 yards further forward and be more involved in the team’s attacking play.
Given the Monday kick-off, there should be no issues about Brazilian duo Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho starting following their Thursday return from international duty.
With Lallana possibly absent, Klopp could drop Firmino to a more orthodox central playmaker role and select an authentic front man.
Daniel Sturridge would appear to be the natural choice, but the Englishman has not yet scored in the league this season and has delivered a series of mixed displays.
Despite Sturridge’s pedigree and killer instinct in the box, Klopp could instead turn to the more mobile Divock Origi, who led the line impressively in the recent League Cup win over Derby and scored his first goal of the season.
In other Liverpool team news, a defender has signed a two-year contract.