Predicted XI

Matip to return? How Liverpool could line-up against Burnley

The central defender hasn't played since the end of last year but should be available for Jurgen Klopp this midweek

9:09am on Thursday 21st January 2021
Martin Macdonald

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp should be able to call upon the services of Joel Matip for Thursday's Premier League fixture against Burnley.

The Cameroonian defender has not played since 27 December and has missed a handful of games including the 0-0 draw against arch rivals Man Utd at the weekend, which saw Liverpool field a central defensive partnership of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.

If Matip is deemed fit enough to play against Burnley, which is looking likely, then that will provide Henderson the opportunity to move back into his more favoured midfield position.

If the Liverpool captain moves higher up in the starting XI, expect Xherdan Shaqiri to be the man to make way.

Fabinho will probably continue at centre-back, though Klopp has youngsters Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips to choose from if he wants the Brazilian back in midfield.

Shaqiri making way for Matip, with Henderson moving forward will signal the change back to Liverpool's usual 4-3-3 formation.

Curtis Jones is pushing for a start in midfield, but Klopp may save him for the FA Cup this weekend as the Premier League champions once again face Man Utd for the second Sunday in a row.

That means another start for Thiago, who was Liverpool's man of the match against United.

The Spaniard dominated proceedings at Anfield, earning a 9.2 FC Rating for his performance.

Liverpool haven't actually found the back of the net in their last three Premier League games against Newcastle, Southampton, and then United.

But, with Klopp seemingly not trusting forward deputies Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, expect the German boss to continue with misfiring trio Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino.

Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita, Joe Gomez, and Kostas Tsimikas remain absentees.

Liverpool predicted XI against Burnley

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