By Emma Sanders
Liverpool should rest Roberto Firmino for their clash against Stoke at Anfield on Boxing Day.
The Brazilian looked burned out in the Reds’ 1-0 victory against Everton on Monday evening and with Daniel Sturridge back to full fitness, Firmino should be given a rest.
Sturridge should start up front but the 27-year-old should be joined by Divock Origi in attack.
The duo have not played together as a pair before but Origi is capable of playing as a wide attacker and so he should line-up as part of the front three alongside Sturridge and Sadio Mane.
Firmino has looked out of sorts since Philippe Coutinho’s injury but Origi has excelled, scoring five goals in his last six games and therefore he deserves to retain his place.
Adam Lallana should line-up in the advanced role in midfield, while Jordan Henderson and Giorginio Wijnaldum sit in their familiar holding roles.
Emre Can has been given the nod ahead of Wijnaldum on occasions this season but the former Newcastle midfielder helps to keep the game ticking and his work-rate will be highly valuable against Stoke so he should start.
Joel Matip will be facing a fitness test ahead of the clash but even if he is fit, he is not expected to start so Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren deserve to keep their places at centre-back.
Nathaniel Clyne has performed consistently throughout the season so he should retain his place at right-back and James Milner is the obvious choice at left-back.
Simon Mignolet should also retain his place in goal as Stoke could offer a threat from set-pieces.
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