Predicted Liverpool XI vs Brentford as Salah back but Alisson out | Football | Sport

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Liverpool welcome back top goalscorer Mohamed Salah to their squad for the trip to Brentford today (12.30pm) but will be without No. 1 goalkeeper Alisson once more. The Reds face the Bees looking for a win to take them at least temporarily five points clear atop the Premier League table. And Salah, after AFCON and injury, is fit to feature once more. But Jurgen Klopp must decide whether or not to start or bench the Egyptian. Express Sport looks at how Liverpool could line up at the Gtech Community Stadium…

Goalkeeper – Kelleher

Back from illness, Alisson had been expected to start here before he sustained a hamstring injury in training yesterday. That means Caoimhin Kelleher is instead set for a second straight Premier League appearances. The Irishman has conceded 16 goals in 13 outings this season while keeping just two clean sheets, but will hope for a shut-out here.

Defence – Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson

In front of Kelleher, captain Virgil van Dijk will be rejoined by the returning Ibrahima Konate, who has served his one-match suspension. The Frenchman will displace Jarell Quansah while Andy Robertson will get a second successive start at left-back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss this contest and at least two more matches but Conor Bradley returned to training this week. The Northern Irishman shone before his absence, which was due to compassionate leave following the death of his father, and will get another chance to impress here.

Joe Gomez missed the win over Burnley due to flu but will be back in the squad on the bench. He could see action in place of Bradley or Robertson with the view to starting the midweek match against Luton.

Midfield – Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott

Klopp’s first real dilemma comes in midfield with Dominik Szoboszlai and Thiago Alcantara unavailable. Liverpool were well below-par in the first half of last Saturday’s win over Burnley, in which Wataru Endo started as the No. 6 with Curtis Jones to his left and Alexis Mac Allister in a right-sided No. 8 role.

Only when Harvey Elliott came off the bench did the Merseyside outfit spring to life, with Jones dropping to right-back after Alexander-Arnold went off injury. And the German might opt to restore Mac Allister to the holding role in which he has performed so well this season.

With Endo only a defensive-minded midfielder, he would then drop to the bench with Elliott coming into the midfield in reward for his energetic cameo in the last match. The 20-year-old has become something of a ‘super sub’ of late but has earned a chance to start.

Attack – Diaz, Jota, Nunez

Klopp’s toughest decision undoubtedly comes in attack. Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez all scored in the win over Burnley. All are in good form, in the last eight games Jota has five goals and two assists, Nunez four goals and three assists and Diaz four goals and an assist.

But Salah is fit again and the 18-goal, nine-assist forward is rarely benched. Klopp must decide whether to sacrifice a forward, most likely Diaz, in favour of Salah. But with Luton and Chelsea both coming up in the next eight days, the Liverpool boss might opt to be cautious.

The Egyptian may then come off the bench for 20 to 30 minutes here and then start at home to Luton on Wednesday night. Klopp will not want to overuse Salah given the Reds are in the Carabao Cup final next weekend.

Liverpool predicted XI vs Brentford in full: Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott; Diaz, Jota, Nunez



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