Liverpool will be without five first-team players when they take on Leicester in a crunch clash at the King Power tonight. The Reds have to cope with a mounting injury list as they look to extend their 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is the latest star to be sidelined after the midfielder suffered an ankle injury during the Club World Cup final against Flamengo.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was forced off 75 minutes into the showpiece event, which Liverpool won thanks to Roberto Firmino’s extra-time goal.
Jurgen Klopp gave an injury update on the England ace following the victory, saying: “With Oxlade yeah, as we probably expected.
“You have three ligaments on the outside of the ankle and one of them is damaged. And now we have to see how quick we can fix that.
“Matip, Lovren, and Fabinho (are) in a good way but not ready for these games,” he said.
However, there was better news regarding Georginio Wijnaldum with the Dutchman fit enough to claim a spot on the bench against Flamengo after a recent muscle injury.
The Dutchman is expected to have recovered in time to face Leicester and appears likely to reclaim a spot in the starting XI for the meeting.
Wijnaldum should join Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita in midfield, with the latter having scored in three of his last four appearances.
However, James Milner is another option if Klopp opts for a more defensive set-up in such a vital match.
Liverpool currently have a game in hand over the closest rivals, while Manchester City are a point further back ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures.
Therefore a positive results would be a huge step towards sealing the Reds’ first-ever Premier League title.
Klopp is expected to name an unchanged rearguard with Alisson starting in goal ahead of centre-backs Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson will line up at full-back while the usual attacking trio of Mohamed Sarah, Sadio Mane and Firmino will be relied upon for goals.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi will hope to feature off the bench while Harvey Elliott is also looking to force his way into the first-team picture.
As for Leicester, Brendan Rodgers’ side remain without Matty James and Harvey Barnes is a doubt after suffering an ankle injury against City.
However, the rest of the squad has a clean bill of health and Jamie Vardy is expected to lead the line, having scored five goals in his last three home appearances against the Reds.
Liverpool predicted line-up vs Leicester – Premier League
(4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Mane, Firmino