OPINION By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Following the rare luxury of a week without a match, Jurgen Klopp has said he will select his best available team against Augsburg on Thursday.
The Liverpool manager claimed at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday that he will not have half an eye on Sunday’s League Cup final against Manchester City as he prepares for the second leg of finely poised last-32 clash, which finished goal-less in Germany.
Klopp has named an unchanged team for the last two matches, with a central midfield three of Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and James Milner, supplemented by the club’s best three attackers, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho.
However, Sturridge, Kolo Toure and Henderson, who has struggled with a foot injury all season, are among the players who might find two marquee matches in less than 72 hours a challenge.
Lucas could return to the team after missing the last two matches, with the Brazilian’s nous and experience valuable for a game against opponents who will play predominantly on the counter-attack.
Divock Origi and Jordan Ibe will come into contention for starts, but, if at all possible, Klopp should once again give the holy trinity of Sturridge, Coutinho and Firmino the opportunity to wreak havoc.
Liverpool 4-3-3 (strongest possible): Mignolet; Clyne, Caulker, Sakho, Moreno; Lucas, Can, Henderson; Firmino, Sturridge, Coutinho
INJURED: Lallana, Lovren, Allen, Skrtel, Stewart, Ings, Gomez.