Date: 10th September 2021 at 6:42pm
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Liverpool are one of only a handful of clubs going into the fourth round of Premier League fixtures with an unbeaten record still in tact.

Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Norwich City and Burnley in the opening two games, before a 1-1 draw against 10-man Chelsea at Anfield the following week.

Next up for the Reds is a trip to Yorkshire to face Leeds United at Elland Road.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side will undoubtedly provide a stern test for a Liverpool team that will be without some familiar faces.

The club’s Brazilian contingent of Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino are all set to miss out after FIFA imposed sanctions on the trio after Liverpools refusal to let them leave for international duty.

Leeds, meanwhile, will be without Raphinha for the same reason.

Below, we take a look at the decisions Klopp will have to make a predict the XI that he will choose.

Goalkeeper

Caoimhin Kelleher could be in line to make what will be just his third Premier League appearance if he is picked ahead of Adrian. The 22-year-old appears to be ahead of his Spanish teammate in the pecking order at Anfield now, and may therefore be given the nod to deputise for Alisson.

Defence

Everpresent Trent Alexander-Arnold will start at right-back, fresh from returning to the club after international duty with England. The 22-year-old has played all of the club’s games so far this term, and will be hoping for another clean sheet while also fancying his chances of an attacking return against Leeds.

At the heart of defence, Virgil van Dijk will continue his return to the first team after a lengthy lay-off. The Dutchman has conceded just once since returning and, alongside Joel Matip, has solidified a backline that looked shaky at times last season. Joe Gomez, who also missed large parts of last season through injury, will once again have to settle for a place on the bench alongside new signing Ibrahima Konate.

At left-back, Andy Robertson is likely to be preferred to Kostas Tsimikas, who kept clean sheets in the first two matches of the season, as well as providing an assist. The Scot returned to the side against Chelsea and is likely to keep hold of his place for the foreseeable.

Midfield

Club captain Jordan Henderson looks set to start in the defensive midfield role, with Fabinho ineligible and Naby Keita still unavailable. The former Sunderland man has been on international duty with England, but is unlikely to be granted a rest as Klopp remains short of midfielders.

The absences in midfield and Henderson’s potential role change could mean a first start of the season for Thiago. The Spaniard is yet to start a game so far, but played bit-part roles against both Burnley and Chelsea.

Harvey Elliot, who played against both Chelsea and Burnley, would have looked set to start once again but has reportedly suffered a sight injury while on international duty with England under-21s.

Thiago could make his first start of the season against Leeds on Saturday

The player will therefore likely give way to fellow youngster Curtis Jones, who had been linked with a move away from Anfield in the closing stages of the window but remains a Liverpool player.

English pair James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both look set to miss out, with the former still recovering from a knocking Takumi Minamino also still out.

Forwards

Up front, Klopp will have to rotate from his trusted front three in the absence of Roberto Firmino. Diego Jota is the most likely candidate to step into the Brazilian’s place, with Divock Origi still out of favour at the club. The Portuguese has scored twice in two starts this season.

Either side of him, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will complete the Reds’ attack. The former’s penalty earned the Reds a point against Chelsea and added to his goal and two assists against Norwich on the opening day. Mane, meanwhile, scored against Burnley and it was his shot that Reece James handball to gift the Egyptian the penalty against Chelsea.

With three of his most crucial assets all ruled out against Leeds, Klopp may be forced to introduce some of his fringe players into the fold.

However, with Leeds’ defence still looking relatively fragile, he may see the game as the perfect opportunity to give valuable minutes to some of those players.

 
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