Liverpool travel to Trentside this afternoon for their Premier League clash against Nottingham Forest, and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his team can continue to express their new-found confidence again today.
Forest are currently bottm of the table and struggling to pick up results in the top flight, so the travelling Reds must capitalise on the hosts’ poor form when they visit The City Ground.
A victory for Liverpool would put them up to fifth in the league table for a few hours at least, matching Manchester United for points with a better goal difference, and could keep them there depending on how the weekend’s other results play out. Either way, three points would make their league position look a bit more respectable.
In terms of injuries, Luis Diaz, Ibrahima Konate, Naby Keita, Joel Matip, Arthur Melo and Diogo Jota continue to be unavailable for selection as expected, but there has now been a new potential blow to the forward line.
Klopp revealed in his pre-match press conference that Darwin Nunez will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the clash this afternoon due to hamstring issues, and his fate in the starting line-up might not be decided until the last minute.
The Liverpool boss said of the Uruguayan striker on Friday: “He’s one of these we have to check now. He had treatment yesterday and we will see whatever we get told later.”
With all that considered, this is how Football Fancast expects Liverpool to line up against Nottingham Forest today…
We expect to see just two changes to the team which beat West Ham United 1-0 on Wednesday night, with Klopp continuing to deploy his adapted 4-4-2 formation.
The first change we predict is the return of Andy Robertson in the left-back role, replacing Kostas Tsimikas to complete an otherwise unchanged back four alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
The second change we expect to see is Harvey Elliott reprising his role on the right-hand side of the midfield, whilst Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino form the frontline duo.
Elliott, who was dubbed “exceptional” by Rio Ferdinand, has shown promising development over the season so far when he has been deployed on the right flank, and he can be the perfect playmaker to complete the midfield alongside Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara and Fabio Carvalho.
In order for the talented teenager to squeeze into the starting line-up, one of the starting forwards from Wednesday must lose their place. We predict that, owing to the uncertainty surrounding Nunez’s fitness, the £140k-per-week Uruguayan won’t be risked against Forest and instead begin from the bench.
With that being said, Liverpool should have enough talent and quality to comfortably take all three points from a struggling Forest side this afternoon, and losing Nunez shouldn’t be too much of a blow so long as he will not be sidelined beyond the match today.