Matip returns: Liverpool best possible XI to face Stoke
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Liverpool should make one change to their side for the upcoming Premier League game against Stoke and bring back defender Joel Matip.
The centre-back should come back into the side to replace Ragnar Klavan and give the Reds their preferred defensive set-up.
Jurgen Klopp’s side travel to the Britannia Stadium on the back of a disappointing 2-2 draw against Bournemouth, when Josh King scored an 87th minute equaliser.
They need to pick up maximum points against an out-of-form Stoke if they want to consolidate their top-four status as they looked to qualify for the Champions League.
Klopp is without several key players due to injury with the likes of Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson sidelined.
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However, this best possible starting line-up should still have enough quality to get back to winnings ways in the league.
Simon Mignolet should continue as the goalkeeper, but it’s an area Liverpool desperately need to address in the summer transfer window.
Similarly, make-shift left-back should stay in the side and is another problem area that needs addressing by Klopp.
That leaves Matip, Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne as the rest of the defence, but the Merseyside club have not kept a clean sheet in their last six matches.
Liverpool should stick with a midfield trio of Lucas, Georginio Wijnaldum and Emre Can against Stoke and they will be expecting a tough battle.
Meanwhile, Mane’s absence means that Roberto Firmino should play on the right wing and Philippe Coutinho should retain his spot on the left.
That leaves Belgian striker Divock Origi to lead the line, who did scored in the draw against Bournemouth to boost his confidence.
In other Liverpool team news, Paul Merson has predicted the league clash against Stoke.