Liverpool expected 4-2-3-1 v Hull: Attacker duo and Mignolet axed
By Alex Stevens
Given the manner of Liverpool’s win at Chelsea last Friday, the obvious move by Jurgen Klopp would be to stick with the players who had contributed to such a notable triumph for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Hull.
However, the Merseysiders’ manager could make two changes to the side that was victorious at Stamford Bridge, one of which would have major repercussions for the season.
Roberto Firmino demonstrated in the midweek League Cup win over Derby that he is fully fit after covering from a groin injury, and is likely to return to the starting XI against Hull.
This could mean that Sturridge, who was the least convincing of Liverpool’s front four against Chelsea, could drop down to the bench to make way for the Brazilian.
This would allow the technically excellent and nimble quartet of Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane to all be in the line up at the weekend.
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Divock Origi would also miss out even though he led the line impressively against Derby and scored his first goal of the season.
In addition to the two spearheads, Klopp could make the landmark moving of axing Simon Mignolet in favour of Loris Karius.
The summer signing from Mainz impressed on his Liverpool debut on Tuesday, displaying the kind of footwork and poise that Mignolet has demonstrated time and again he is just not capable of.
In front of the goalkeeper, Klopp is likely to start with the same back four who impressed at Chelsea, where Joel Matip made his third hugely promising Premier League start.
With Emre Can working his way back from an ankle injury – he played 33 minutes against Derby – Liverpool are unlikely to tinker in central midfield.
Jordan Henderson and summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum have been paired for the opening five league matches even though neither is a natural anchorman.
In other Liverpool team news, a defender has signed a two-year contract.