Mohamed Salah is COVID-19 free and is available for selection when Liverpool welcomes Serie A side, Atalanta, to the fortress Anfield.
Mohamed Salah missed their outstanding 3-0 victory over Leicester City on Sunday past in the Premier League, displaying they did not miss him at all.
The Reds boss confirmed on Tuesday that the winger is ready to play, speaking about the Egyptian taking part in their training ahead of the Champions League clash, finally testing negative of COVID.
Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool’s top scorer:
Mo trained and looked really good and he gave a negative test like the rest. He is available [for selection] and we will have to see what we can do with that.
Sadly, Mo is just one of several players returning from the long list of injuries the Reds have suffered from this early on in the current campaign.
The group’s leaders are still missing their captain Jordan Henderson, the ever assisting Trent Alexander-Arnold, new man Thiago Alcantara, and their super-sub Xherdan Shaqiri.
All the rest – no news. We will see. I don’t want to speak too much about it because I have no idea who Atalanta can bring – so why should we give any information? (Via: Sky Sports)
Liverpool insider James Pearce elaborated on Klopp’s statement and added that Roberto Firmino was also included to the count of those who were and not seen at the new AXA Training Centre.
Not long after, it was confirmed that Bobby was fine and there are no injury concerns for the third goalscorer in Sunday’s champions’ show, where Bobby was key to the victory.
No injury concern with Firmino I’m told.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) November 24, 2020
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So how would Klopp go about setting his team up for this one? A win guarantees their spot in the Round of 16 making it a must-win for them.
They too, in return, do not want to stop this winning momentum they’ve picked up of late — arguably showcasing their best form all season over the last few games.
Liverpool topping Group D with nine points, suffering from no losses and no goals conceded, will have Atalanta the ones wanting to win this a lot more. They sit on four points, the same amount as other Group D contenders Ajax.
The Dutch side just about edges them for second place thanks to a better goal difference of one — all to play for then for the Italian side.
For one of these two teams, qualification will not happen this season and the Europa League will be calling. Liverpool are safe even with dropped points but not winning was never an option for the Anfield side.
Liverpool’s lineup 4-3-3
Alisson (GK); Milner (RB); Fabinho (CB); Matip (CB); Robbo (LB);
Gini (CM); Jones (CM); Firmino (CAM);
Jota (RW); Mane (LW); Salah (F)
The Reds will possibly come out with the same team from Sunday past. The only change we could see is Salah starting in one of the front three slots.
Sadio Mane was the only forward who did not score against Leicester but what is Liverpool without Mane, Mane, Mane?
So the 4-3-3 will remain (it will always be effective for Klopp) and If Rhys Williams doesn’t start the other Williams in the team might, Welshman Nico.
Yet! A big yet, with Hendo out and Naby a sure doubt, we could see Milner rather slot in the middle of the park, which would guarantee a Nico start.
Doubting it highly Klopp will go without Fabinho in the starting lineup. The Brazilian will, however, be sacrificed having only just returned from injury. He must be eased back into action.
Matip too has only just made a comeback, so either of these boys will see no more than 60-65 minutes of the match. Robbo will hold down his spot. Nobody is taking Sunday’s best player out of the starting XI.
Georginio Wijnaldum can play 90 minutes of football in back-to-back days. Always available for selection, so he should be starting too.
Curtis Jones was excellent in their Leicester win, showing signs of a matured midfielder. He is now and will forever be, always in contention for a starting place. He should get the nod.
Ultimately, I feel Klopp will keep working at all four of his attackers playing together, tweaking things out when there is not much pressure on them to perform 110%.
He will go with Firmino slotting into the number 10 role and the front three of Mo, Jota, and Mane. The backline will be the same as Sunday’s, with two of the same midfield runners backing Bobby up, Gini and Jones.
The Spanner will be if Klopp rests many first-team players, going without all of his prime attackers, Jota, Mane, and Firmino, who all took part the weekend. Put Salah in and go with Takumi Minamino while adding the out-of-favour Divock Origi.
Then working to the middle of the pitch, take Roberto out, keep Milner in the centre where ended the Foxes game and the backline changes completely. In steps the Williams youngsters and a rest for either of Fab or Joel.
The bottom line is, Klopp has really cooked up a dependable squad that has shown in a few testing moments this season that they can rise above the challenge. He has options!