Liverpool will be aiming to bounce back from last week’s horrendous defeat to Napoli when they lock horns with Ajax on Tuesday night. The Reds were beaten 4-1 in Italy on Wednesday, meaning they have plenty of work to do if they’re to make it to the Champions League knockout stages. So, with much on the line, it’s possible Jurgen Klopp will tinker with his team…
Liverpool started the season well, beating Manchester City 3-1 to win the Community Shield at the King Power Stadium last month.
However, the Reds have struggled during the early stages of the campaign – with Klopp failing to get the best from his star players.
Liverpool know they must beat Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday night to boost their chances of making the knockout stages of the competition.
Last year’s finalists have the quality to bounce back but, in their Eredivisie counterparts, they’re facing a team with the skill and talent to hurt them.
So Express Sport will now take a look at three players Klopp may drop as he looks to turn the club’s season around at Anfield.
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Joe Gomez started a fifth successive match for Liverpool at Napoli.
However, the England international endured a horrendous night at the office as his team was put to the sword.
Gomez was lucky when Virgil van Dijk cleared an early Napoli effort off the line, but was guilty of poor defending for the Serie A giants’ second and third goals of the night.
He looked weak in the tackle, while his lack of pace was also rather startling.
Joel Matip replaced Gomez last week at half time so it’s feasible the 31-year-old will be unleashed from the start on a night where his side really must win.
James Milner has long been a good asset for Liverpool, having been at the club ever since arriving from Manchester City back in the summer transfer window of 2015.
But gone are the days where the England international operated at the peak of his powers.
Milner was lucky to keep his place against Napoli, having struggled at right-back during the goalless draw with Everton a few days previously.
And, like Gomez, he endured a shambolic night as his side were ripped open time and time again.
Milner gave away a penalty, was booked and was lucky to stay on the field after the opening 45 minutes. If he starts again, against an energetic Ajax side, Liverpool may find themselves slipping to yet another heavy defeat…
Roberto Firmino is another player who has been at Liverpool ever since Brendan Rodgers’ time in the dugout.
He’s become a cult hero on Merseyside over the years, especially given how vital he was as the Reds won the Premier League title in 2020.
But Firmino looks rudderless these days and offered nothing during the emphatic defeat in Italy last week.
He was guilty of misplacing passes and seemed to be off the pace over the course of the showdown.
Liverpool would be wise to leave him on the bench and give Darwin Nunez, who is the club’s future, a chance to shine.
Liverpool’s predicted XI
Alisson Becker has been a shining light for Liverpool so far this season, so he’s expected to start.
The Reds will likely deploy a back four consisting of Matip, Van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Konstantinos Tsimikas – with the latter replacing the injured Andy Robertson.
With Milner potentially set to be dropped, Harvey Elliot, Thiago and Fabinho should make up the Reds’ midfield.
And, up top, we’re expecting Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz to be deployed alongside Nunez in attack.
Whether a tweak in his line-up leads to Klopp getting all three points, though, remains to be seen.