Liverpool is gearing up for their return to Premier League action after the international break, as they prepare to face Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, they are facing some challenges with key players missing from the lineup.
Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk is suspended due to improper conduct following his dismissal against Newcastle United. Originally set to miss just one match, he now faces an extended ban and a £100,000 fine. Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have stepped up in his absence, delivering solid performances in the backline.
Adding to the defensive concerns, Trent Alexander-Arnold is doubtful after sustaining a minor hamstring injury on the eve of the international break. Ibrahima Konate is also sidelined with a muscle injury.
This potential defensive crisis leaves Liverpool manager with limited options. Youngster Jarell Quansah, with two substitute appearances, might make his senior start. Another option could be Wataru Endo, who has experience as a central defender and recently returned to the bench.
In midfield, Ryan Gravenberch has chosen to focus on club football, and new arrivals Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have impressed early on. Curtis Jones has also made a strong comeback from injury.
Upfront, Mohamed Salah is back in form, but the question is who will fill the central role. Cody Gakpo, despite struggling initially, showed promise with a goal in their recent win over Greece. Diogo Jota is another contender, coming off the bench against Aston Villa after Darwin Nunez’s standout performance.
Liverpool is expected to dominate possession against Wolves, who tend to sit deep and counter. Given this, Gakpo, with his experience as a deep-lying forward, could be a suitable choice to lead the frontline.
Here’s a possible Liverpool starting lineup against Wolves:
Defenders: Gomez, Matip, Quansah, Robertson
Midfielders: Jones, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai
Forwards: Salah, Gakpo, Diaz