FIFA LEAGUES/CUPS

Shaqiri starts as Klopp makes 3 changes


Jurgen Klopp has continued his rotational approach as Liverpool host Watford this lunchtime, making three changes to his side from midweek.

The Reds produced an excellent display to overcome Salzburg and reach the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday night, with the majority of Klopp’s established first-choice XI starting.

That came after a host of alterations for the 3-0 win at Bournemouth, as a busy winter sets in and regular rest is required, and a similar stance is taken today.

Alisson keeps his place, but the absence of Dejan Lovren through injury sees Joe Gomez join Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and James Milner in defence.

The midfield is likely to be a two-man unit, with Jordan Henderson starting alongside Gini Wijnaldum in an expected 4-2-3-1.

And after his goalscoring return to the side against Everton, Xherdan Shaqiri joins Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in attack.

Before the Reds head to Qatar, they need a strong performance against a Watford side aiming to experience the new-manager bounce under Nigel Pearson.

The hope will be that Klopp’s chosen XI gets the job done, but the manager also has the likes of Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi on the substitutes’ bench, along with youngster Neco Williams.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Milner; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah

Substitutes: Adrian, Robertson, Williams, Lallana, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi

Watford: Foster; Cathcart, Mariappa, Kabasele; Femenia, Hughes, Capoue, Doucoure, Sarr; Deeney, Deulofeu

Substitutes: Gomes, Dawson, Foulquier, Chalobah, Quina, Success, Gray



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