Liverpool expected 4-2-3-1 v Arsenal: Attacking trio omitted
PREVIEW by Harvey Byrne
Sadio Mane could spearhead the Liverpool attack ahead of three strikers for the Premier League opener against Arsenal on Sunday.
Daniel Sturridge returned to training on Wednesday, but was separate from the rest of the squad and the Emirates Stadium clash could come too soon for the 26-year-old star forward.
Sturridge missed the final two matches of Liverpool’s pre-season and new signing Sadio Mane gave an impressive performance as he lead the attack in the 4-0 demolition of Barcelona last Saturday.
Divock Origi and Danny Ings were both on the bench for the Barcelona match and, although Origi scored in the second half, an injury that has disrupted his pre-season could mean he is overlooked to start the Arsenal.
Should the senior strikers be fit and firing, Mane is likely to drop back into his more natural attacking midfield position.
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James Milner could also be sidelined the clash after he tore a muscle in his foot in the weekend’s clash against Barcelona meaning that new signing Georginio Wijnaldum may have to fall back into a more defensive role.
Simon Mignolet looks set to retain his position in goal, as the Reds suffered another injury in pre-season with new goalkeeper signing Loris Karius breaking his hand in a collision with defender Dejan Lovren during a clash against Chelsea.
First team options Marko Grujic, Lucas Leiva, Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho also look set to miss out on the clash against Arsenal through injury.
Liverpool fans will be thankful to see that the club have kept hold of star-man Philippe Coutinho, despite not having any European football to offer the Premier League star.
Jurgen Klopp has been very active in this summer’s transfer market, as he aims to return the England giants to the Premier League’s top four and Champions League football.
Klopp has made six senior signings so far, bringing in Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Alex Manninger, Wijnaldum, Mane and Karius for a combined £65million.
In other Liverpool team news, former Reds star Howard Gayle has rejected an MBE.