Champions League

Henderson back from the start – How Liverpool could line up against Ajax

Liverpool’s injury list is growing, but they should still be able to put out a strong lineup against Ajax.

 
9:47am on Monday 30th November 2020
By
Nicholas Hughes

Another week gone and yet more injury woes for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.

James Milner is the latest player to join the sidelines after a hamstring injury forced him off during the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion.

The loss of the vice-captain is another bitter blow for the champions, but one positive to come out of the trip to the Amex was a return to the pitch for skipper Jordan Henderson.

The 30-year-old had missed the last three games but stepped out as a half-time substitute in a welcome boost for the Reds.

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Henderson should be fit for the start on Tuesday night, with Liverpool needing just a point to sew up qualification for the knockout stages.

Milner’s injury, as well as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s continued absence, will necessitate a third successive start for teenager Neco Williams at right-back, despite the Welshman giving away a penalty at Brighton and being hooked for Henderson at the interval.

The Reds started with three teenagers in total in the loss to Atalanta last week and could be forced to do so again, with Rhys Williams and Curtis Jones in contention to start.

Joel Matip was omitted from the matchday squad entirely at the weekend in a precautionary move given his injury history, a rest that should allow him to return to face the Dutch champions.

Klopp has shared minutes across the front three in recent weeks, but Mohamed Salah has started twice in a row since recovering from a positive COVID-19 test.

The Egyptian was furious to be substituted at the weekend, and with five substitutes available in the Champions League it could be likely that the No.11 will have his minutes managed once again.

This Liverpool team really picks itself at the moment. With one fit right-back, one natural senior centre-half and four recognised midfielders, there isn’t room for much tinkering to be done for Klopp and his staff.

Fans were disappointed with a rotated line-up against Atalanta last week, with particular criticism found for Divock Origi who will likely remain on the bench this time out.

The Reds will be eager to secure a spot in the last 16 a week early with a positive result against Ajax, but most important will be getting through the night without any new injury issues.

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