Jurgen Klopp to Hand Liverpool Youngster His First Start of the Season in Place of Trent Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool are set to take on Union SG in the Europa League, and significant changes are expected. This match holds limited significance for the Reds in relation to the stakes involved.

Entering their last Europa League Group E encounter, the Reds enjoy the luxury of having already secured passage to the knockout stage. Accumulating 12 points from five matches and holding a four-point lead over Toulouse, Jurgen Klopp’s team faces a dead rubber against Royal Union Saint-Gilloise in Brussels.

Klopp acknowledges the significance of maintaining sporting integrity as the Belgian side remain in contention for a second-place finish, securing a chance to qualify for the knockout stage play-off. Despite navigating through what Klopp deems the most intense period of the season, prioritising the well-being of his squad remains crucial.

Approaching a pivotal week with consecutive Premier League clashes against Manchester United and Arsenal, alongside the impending Carabao Cup quarter-final versus West Ham United, Jurgen Klopp finds himself with a unique opportunity to enact extensive changes within his squad.

This strategic move could involve affording key players such as Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk, and Trent Alexander-Arnold a well-deserved break to recharge. Following a demanding 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace, the necessity for alterations and rest is evident.

Anticipated rotations are on the horizon for the encounter with Union SG. Caomhin Kelleher is set to assume the goalkeeper role, a position he typically occupies in cup competitions, allowing Alisson Becker, recently returning from injury, a respite.

Conor Bradley might earn his first start of the season, potentially replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back in Liverpool’s upcoming fixture.

Read Also  Jurgen Klopp Set to Hand Liverpool Youngster Premier League Debut in Latest Development

Having excelled on loan at Bolton Wanderers last season, he garnered recognition as Player of the Season in League One. Bradley, who faced a setback with a summer stress fracture to his back, was carefully reintegrated by the Reds to prevent prolonged issues.

In the recent 3-0 victory over LASK, the 20-year-old made his first appearance of the 2023-24 season as a substitute and has since been on the bench for the last two Premier League matches.

Following his surprise start at Selhurst Park, Jarell Quansah, a 20-year-old defender, may retain his position, despite conceding a penalty before being substituted for Ibrahima Konate. With Joel Matip sidelined and Konate’s workload being managed, Joe Gomez emerges as a potential starter in his preferred central role.

Klopp might consider Gomez for a starting role against Manchester United, especially after his impactful performance off the bench in a right-back capacity during the clash with Palace.

Klopp may consider opening up an opportunity to assess under-21 players, such as 19-year-old Terrence Miles, predominantly a right-back for Barry Lewtas’ team but also experienced centrally. Although not initially listed in Liverpool’s Europa League B squad, Miles can be added up to 24 hours before kick-off.

For Kostas Tsimikas’ left-back role, Klopp has choices like Luke Chambers, who debuted in the 5-1 win over Toulouse, and Calum Scanlon, an England youth international who replaced Chambers.

The midfield selection will likely indicate players preserved for the United match. Wataru Endo, a regular in Europa League games, faced challenges against Palace, making James McConnell a potential debutant, especially with Alexis Mac Allister recovering.

Read Also  Opinions from Club's Dressing Room Hand Liverpool Another Boost in Their Pursuit of World Cup Winner

The number-eight roles pose a dilemma for Klopp. Dominik Szboszlai has started every Premier League game but with a recent form dip, and Harvey Elliott’s impactful cameo at Palace, decisions loom for the clash against United, where Elliott, often an impact sub, could feature.

Ryan Gravenberch’s recent performance against the Eagles left much to be desired, following his subpar display in the 2-0 victory over Sheffield United. Curtis Jones appears poised to reclaim his spot, with anticipation building around who will earn the nod against Union, revealing valuable insights into player management.

With Salah expected to rest, the opportunity arises for the dynamic teenager Ben Doak to shine on the right wing. On the opposite side, Kaide Gordon, now fully recovered from a lengthy pelvic issue, could make his inaugural senior appearance, potentially stepping in for the less-than-stellar Luis Diaz.

The central striking role introduces an intriguing dilemma. Despite Darwin Nunez’s lackluster showing against Palace, he may not be the chosen one. Cody Gakpo emerges as a viable option on the left if Diaz assumes a role as an impact substitute.

Notably, in Liverpool’s Europa League squad is Lewis Koumas, the 19-year-old son of former midfielder Jason Koumas, who boasts an impressive record of three goals and two assists in seven under-21 games.

Liverpool possible line-up: Kelleher, Bradley, Quansah, Miles, Chambers, McConnell, Elliott, Jones, Doak, Koumas, Gordon.

In other Liverpool news, These 4 Individuals are the Reasons Liverpool are Top of the League

Share your thought