Liverpool look to go into the World Cup break on a positive as they host Southampton at Anfield today (3pm). The Reds can at least temporarily move within four points of the Champions League spots with victory against the Saints, led by new manager Nathan Jones. Jurgen Klopp is likely to make wholesale changes from the midweek Carabao Cup win over Derby County and Express Sport predicts how the Reds will line up this weekend.
Goalkeeper – Alisson
Alisson got his first break of the season on Wednesday night when Caoimhin Kelleher saved three penalties in a shootout win over Derby. The Brazil goalkeeper, who is going to the World Cup, had previously played every Premier League and Champions League match this season.
He has only kept two clean sheets in his last seven league matches, but both of those came at Anfield, and he’ll be hoping for another shut-out here as he bids for another Golden Glove.
Defence – Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson
Summer signing Calvin Ramsay made his debut against Derby and was joined by Kostas Tsimikas, Nat Phillips and Joe Gomez in defence in the cup. But all four should make way here.
They are expected to be replaced by the same back line that helped Liverpool to beat Tottenham last weekend. Ibrahima Konate, who stood out at Spurs and has been called up to represent France in Qatar, should start over Gomez. Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are all surefire starters.
Midfield – Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott
The visit of Derby saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain make his first start of the season but he will be demoted back to bench duty here against his former club. Fabinho should anchor the midfield before he heads off to the World Cup.
Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott, who was bright off the bench in the cup, are likely to complete the midfield trio. Jordan Henderson is also pressing for minutes but struggled in his cameo from the bench at Spurs and so remains a reserve option.
Attack – Firmino; Nunez, Salah
Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz remain out until after the World Cup and so Liverpool’s front three continues to virtually pick itself. Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino, who both came off the bench in midweek, start. Firmino will again act as a No 10 behind a front two of Nunez and the revitalised Mohamed Salah, who scored a match-winning brace at Spurs.
The in-form Egyptian is three games without a goal against the Saints and will hope to end that streak today. Fabio Carvalho is the only starter attacker from the Derby match likely to be in the squad against Southampton.
Predicted Liverpool XI vs Southampton in full: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Firmino; Nunez, Salah.