Date:4th April 2022 at 12:00pm
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Liverpool continue their pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple on Tuesday as they travel to Portugal to face Benfica in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie. 

Jurgen Klopp’s side face a potentially title-deciding trip to Manchester City on Sunday, and also face the Citizens in the FA Cup semi finals later this month.

In their last outing, the Reds beat Watford 2-0 courtesy of goals from Diogo Jota and Fabinho, but Klopp could look to refresh his squad ahead of a demanding final two months of the season.

Below, we predict the XI that the German will opt to field against Benfica.

Goalkeeper

First choice Alisson has played in all eight of Liverpool’s European matches so far this term, and will keep his place in goal for the trip to Portugal, ahead of deputies Caoimhin Kelleher and Adrian. Klopp’s side have kept clean sheets in three of their last five Champions League matches, and they will be hopeful of securing another on Tuesday.

Defenders

In defence, Klopp will likely select the backline that he deems to be his first choice, with Virgil van Dijk most likely partnered by Joel Matip.

Ibrahima Konate will likely have to settle for a place on the bench, while Joe Gomez may once again take advantage of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s recent injury and fill in at right-back. The Englishman provided an assist for Jota’s goal against Watford on Saturday, and will be hoping to continue his recent revival here. While Alexander-Arnold is fit again, he may not be risked.

Andy Robertson will provide attacking threat down Liverpool’s left

At left-back, Andy Robertson will be relied upon both defensively and offensively, with the Scot providing 13 assists in all competitions this term, and also playing in each of the Reds’ last five league games, in which they have not conceded a single goal.

Midfielders

Klopp’s midfield selection could be crucial, and he will most likely go with experience, something which his midfield has plenty of. Captain Jordan Henderson will expect to start alongside Fabinho, with Curtis Jones likely making way for the Brazilian, as he did midway through the second-half on Saturday.

Fabinho and Jordan Henderson will most likely join Thiago in midfield

Thiago Alcantara, who has won the Champions League twice, will complete the Reds’ midfield trio, with James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain likely to feature among the substitutes.

Forwards

Klopp’s biggest selection headache could come up front, where his vast array of attacking talent leaves him with a nice problem to have. Mohamed Salah delivered an uncharacteristically mediocre performance against Watford, but will expect to start having scored eight goals in eight Champions League matches so far this term.

Luis Diaz is expected to return to the starting line up

Roberto Firmino lead the line against the Hornets, but may be resigned to the bench, with Diogo Jota the most likely candidate to start in the centre of Liverpool’s front three.

On the left, Luis Diaz will be hoping to continue his excellent start to life on Merseyside by scoring his first European goal for the club. The forward has impressed since arriving in England, but has just two goals to his name so far and is yet to register an assist.

While many perceived Liverpool to have received a favourable draw when the ties were decided last month, Benfica will undoubtedly provide a stern test for Klopp’s men. Despite UEFA’s removal of the away goal rule, the trip to Portugal is still as important as ever for Liverpool, who could move a step closer to the quadruple with victory on Tuesday.

 
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