The defending European Champions, Liverpool, will attempt to win their maiden Premier League season in 2019/20 after coming agonisingly close in the previous season. Jurgen Klopp has a squad with a plethora of talented players, so, it won’t be easy for him to pick his best XI.
Chelsea, despite being hit with a transfer ban, have spent more money than Liverpool this summer. In fact, the Reds have spent a meagre £1.3m on three players so far of which two players, Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott, are signings for the future and the third, Adrian, is undoubtedly the backup goalkeeper.
Jurgen Klopp’s prefered starting XI won’t be drastically different from the one he used last season but the return of a few players from injury and the emergence of a few players who had a minor role last season could alter his starting XI as the season goes on.
Alisson won the Golden Glove last season in the Premier League and Champions League with Liverpool. He also won the Golden Glove at the Copa America with Brazil. The Reds number one is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment and he will start for Liverpool in both the top tier competitions as well.
Last season, the backup goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet only got opportunities in the domestic cup competitions. Therefore, it is likely that the new backup goalkeeper Adrian will also get the same, even though the Reds will additionally play in the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup tis time around.
Two positions in Liverpool’s backline are locked out by default as no one is ousting Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson because they have no genuine competition at the moment. Last season, Van Dijk missed only 125 minutes of action in the Premier League and Champions League combined and he missed 90 minutes only because he was suspended. Roberston, on the other hand, started 48 out of 51 games in the league and European cup combined.
The biggest question is who will partner Virgil van Dijk. Joe Gomez started last season brilliantly in a centre-back position before an injury kept him out for several months and during his absence, Joel Matip stepped up and kept his place till the end of the season.
Klopp started Gomez in the Community Shield alongside Matip and that’s an indication that the young Englishman is still above both Matip and Dejan Lovren in the pecking order.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will most likely start most games as the right-back after an impressive 2018/19 season. However, Klopp will rotate by deploying Gomez at right-back and by using either Matip or Lovren in the heart of the defence
The biggest selection headache for Klopp will be the midfield as he’s spoilt for choice after both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana have returned from injuries that kept them out for a lengthy period. He will also be hoping for an excellent season from Naby Keita who had his debut season hindered by frequent injuries.
Fabinho was Klopp’s undisputed starter in the defensive midfield role in the second half of the season and the Brazilian will start in that role in major competitions and matches. Klopp has the option of using Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum or even Adam Lallana as a backup to Fabinho whenever necessary.
For the two remaining midfield positions, Klopp has to choose between Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, and the ever-reliable James Milner! That’s going to be a tough task for him throughout the season when everyone is fit and available but Henderson and Wijnaldum will be at the top of the pecking order because of how well they performed last season.
When everyone is fit and available, Liverpool’s front three picks itself. Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have become one of the most feared trios in football in the last two seasons and they will start almost all of Liverpool’s matches.
The likes of Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Rhian Brewster will have an important role to play over the course of the season especially in cup matches or when any of the preferred front three need rest.
This, then, is how Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will most likely lineup during the 2019/20 season:
The Reds begin their new Premier League campaign on August 9, 2019 against Norwich City.