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Liverpool line-ups for Sheffield United as Dominik Szoboszlai dropped in formation change



Our writers pick their respective teams for the clash between the Reds and Sheffield United on Wednesday

Ian Doyle – Szoboszlai needs a rest

Liverpool will beware the new manager bounce at Sheffield United this evening – but it’s by no means the first time the prospect of facing Jurgen Klopp’s side has forced a change in the opposing dugout

What, though, is Klopp to do, with this a midweek Premier League game rather than a cup one?

Certainly, there’ll be no change in goal. That’s Caoimhin Kelleher, with Alisson Becker still out.

Trent Alexander-Arnold remains at right-back and Kostas Tsimikas left-back, but the injury to Joel Matip means Ibrahima Konate can come in alongside Virgil van Dijk at center-back.

Midfield sees rotation. Dominik Szoboszlai needs a rest and can be benched for Harvey Elliott, while Curtis Jones replaces Ryan Gravenberch. Alexis Mac Allister stays as the number six.

And in attack, it’s time for Darwin Nunez to be taken out of the firing line, replaced down the center by Cody Gakpo. Mohamed Salah is right and Luis Diaz is to the left.

My team (4-3-3): Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Mac Allister, Elliott, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz 

Paul Gorst – All-out attack 

With Crystal Palace to come on Saturday lunchtime, a visit to rock-bottom Sheffield United might present a chance to rest and rotate for Jurgen Klopp.

But given the Reds’ poor recent form against newly-promoted sides – and the fact that the fabled ‘new manager bounce’ might be in full effect for Chris Wilder – perhaps Klopp will go as strong as he can?

Alisson Becker is, of course, ruled out with the Brazilian hopefully in contention for a comeback at Selhurst Park on Saturday. So Caoimhin Kelleher starts in goal behind a back four that sees Joe Gomez come in at left-back. Ibrahima Konate partners captain Virgil van Dijk.

In midfield, Wataru Endo starts at the base and there are rests for Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch as Cody Gakpo and Curtis Jones come into their team to take their place. Alexis Mac Allister can also wait in the wings at Bramall Lane. Playing Gakpo just behind the front three might be the ideal tactic for a side who have conceded a league-high 39. It’s the second-worst record in Premier League history at this stage of the season.

Up top, Mohamed Salah begins on the right with Darwin Nunez down the middle and Luis Diaz on the left. Klopp delivered a positive update on Diogo Jota on Tuesday but this game comes too soon.

My team (4-3-3): Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Jones, Gakpo; Salah, Nunez, Diaz

Theo Squires – Unleash fresh legs

Away days at newly-promoted sides haven’t been Liverpool’s friends in recent months, with a new manager bounce following the return of Chris Wilder and Sheffield United’s desire to bounce back from their 5-0 humbling at the hands of Burnley inevitable. But after seeing Arsenal overcome Luton Town in a seven-goal thriller last night, the Reds have to find a way to get the job done at Bramall Lane to keep the pace at the top of the table.

It’s so tempting to declare the time has come to play Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield after his match-winning performance against Fulham on Sunday. But he’ll have to stay patient for that opportunity.

With Joel Matip now sidelined and Jurgen Klopp hinting Kostas Tsimikas could be due a rest, the Liverpool vice-captain continues at right-back for now. Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez come in to make up the back four along with Virgil van Dijk.

Both unused substitutes on Sunday, Curtis Jones and Havey Elliott can come into the starting XI as the Reds unleash fresh legs. Ryan Gravenberch drops out, while Dominik Szoboszlai can be afforded a rest. Wataru Endo can feel unfortunate to not start with the impressive Alexis Mac Allister keeping his place.

In attack, Cody Gakpo comes in for Darwin Nunez as the Uruguayan’s Liverpool goalscoring ‘drought’ stretches to six games. Luis Diaz keeps his place on the left, with Diogo Jota still injured, while Mohamed Salah again goes in search of his 150th Premier League goal and 200th strike for the Reds.

My team (4-3-3): Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Eliott, Mac Allister, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Diaz

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