Liverpool predicted 4-2-3-1 v Stoke: Four changes as Firmino starts
PREVIEW By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Roberto Firmino is likely to be recalled to the Liverpool team against Stoke if he has deemed to have fully recovered from the hamstring injury that sidelined him for three weeks.
The Brazilian was a late replacement for Adam Lallana in Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund, a result which gives the Merseysiders real hope of progressing to the Europa League semi-finals.
With the Dortmund return clash scheduled for next Thursday, Jurgen Klopp could ring the changes on Sunday as he keeps key players fresh for the second leg.
Two changes will be enforced in central midfield, as Emre Can serves the first match of a two-game domestic suspension and Jordan Henderson is sidelined with a knee injury that could keep him out for the rest of the season.
Joe Allen replaced Henderson at half-time in Germany and is likely to start in central midfield against Stoke, where he could be partnered by fit-again youngster Kevin Stewart.
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The 22-year-old former Tottenham man returned for the Under-21s last Monday and is ahead of Lucas Leiva in his recovery, with the Brazilian not making his comeback until Friday night.
Klopp could also make changes to the front four, where Lallana could drop down to the substitute’s bench after a busy schedule in recent months.
Daniel Sturridge was overlooked in favour of Divock Origi in midweek but could return to lead the line for a home match in which there will be less space behind the opposition defence for the Belgian to exploit with his pace.
Sturridge was below par against Spurs last weekend but he is the best finisher in Klopp’s squad and the most likely player to open up the Stoke rearguard.
Liverpool (possible): Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Allen, Stewart; Milner, Firmino, Coutinho; Sturridge.