Klopp to field a heavily-rotated squad – Predicted Liverpool XI to face Porto
Liverpool will shift their focus to Champions League football after enjoying a routine 2-0 win over Newcastle United at Anfield that saw them consolidate their place in the Premier League top four on Saturday.
The Reds host FC Porto in the second leg of Champions League’s last 16 tie on Tuesday with one foot already in the quarter-finals after securing a 5-0 win in Portugal last month.
Jurgen Klopp knows the second leg is a dead rubber and by no means, Porto can overhaul his team and go to the next round of the competition.
The 5-0 big victory has given Liverpool a massive advantage and ahead of next weekend’s big game against arch-rivals Manchester United, Klopp is expected to play a second-string side on Wednesday.
Ben Woodburn and Georginio Wijnaldum missed the Newcastle game with an illness but the duo could be fit to face Porto on Tuesday.
Nathaniel Clyne sparked joy among Liverpool fans when he recently returned to full training and played full 90 minutes for the Under 23 side. He could be in contention to start on Tuesday.
Predicted Liverpool XI
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Simon Mignolet (GK)
Loris Karius deserves a rest and that could see Mignolet get a chance between the sticks.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB)
Clyne is not yet in perfect rhythm but this match will help him ease back into the team. And against Porto, given the fact that the Reds are virtually through, Clyne could finally get a chance to make his first appearance of the season.
Joe Gomez (CB)
Having recovered from injury, Gomez was on the bench against Newcastle but he will be likely to get a chance to start on Tuesday.
Ragnar Klavan (CB)
Klavan is likely to partner Gomez and he will be likely to grasp this opportunity after seeing his game time reduce since the signing of Virgil van Dijk in January.
Alberto Moreno (LB)
Despite attaining full fitness, Moreno has failed to get back in the first team due to Andrew Robertson’s excellent form. However, the Spaniard should start against the Portuguese giants.
James Milner (CDM)
Milner will be tasked to do the dirty work of shielding the defence and spray passes. Milner’s versatility is his biggest asset and that could see him deployed as a defensive midfielder.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (CM)
Chamberlain produced a Man of the Match performance against Newcastle and would look to replicate his fine form in Tuesday’s game.
Emre Can (CM)
Can has been phenomenal for us this season. His influence continues to grow with every passing game and having missed the first leg due to suspension, he would be raring to go this time.
Adam Lallana (LW)
Lallana played last 15 minutes on Saturday and as he has returned to full fitness, the player could get a chance to start.
Mohamed Salah (RW)
Despite a 5-0 lead from the first leg, Klopp just cannot afford to leave start Mohamed Salah out for the second leg. No one can stop the Egyptian from scoring and the game against Porto would be perfect for him to flex his muscles ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.
Danny Ings (ST)
Ings is waiting anxiously for a start and that could end on Tuesday with Klopp giving him the opportunity ahead of young gun Dom Solanke.