JUST IN: 1 change or 3? – Liverpool lineups vs Everton as Darwin Nunez returns
The first Merseyside derby of the season takes place at Goodison Park on Saturday, but will Darwin Nunez‘s return from suspension see him go straight into the Liverpool lineup?
The Reds are in better spirits than they were this time last week, after securing their first three points of the season with a 9-0 victory against Bournemouth, before a dramatic win against Newcastle on Wednesday night.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for another positive result when his side make the short trip to Goodison Park for the first Merseyside derby of the season on Saturday lunchtime.
His options will be boosted by the return of Nunez, who is back after a three-game suspension, while Joel Matip, Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota have all returned to training this week.
So what sort of team should we be expecting to see face Frank Lampard’s side this weekend?
From Klopp’s pre-match presser on Friday, we know the following:
New signing Arthur yet to receive international clearance
Nunez back after suspension
Jota could be involved after return to training
Liverpool’s XI vs. Everton
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Wednesday, August 31, 2022: Liverpool’s match-winning goal-scorer Fábio Carvalho celebrates with James Milner after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
The big decision for Klopp is who replaces Henderson, after the Liverpool captain limped off with a hamstring injury against Newcastle that looks set to keep him sidelined for a number of weeks.
It was Fabio Carvalho who came on in his place and, given the fact the 20-year-old scored the winner, some will feel he has a good chance of starting at Goodison.
More likely, though, is the selection of James Milner, with Klopp probably reluctant to field both Carvalho and Harvey Elliott in the same midfield in a game of this magnitude.
If that’s the only change, Liverpool would line up like this:
Joe Gomez to carry on at centre-back
Milner in for the injured Henderson
The same front three, with Nunez on the bench
Could this be the side that starts the derby?
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Elliott, Milner; Salah, Diaz, Firmino
With Nunez and a handful of other players available for selection again, Klopp does have more options to rotate.
Gomez was one of Liverpool’s better performers against Newcastle on Wednesday, but given Liverpool’s busy fixture schedule, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see Matip reintroduced to the lineup.
Up front, Klopp must decide whether to unleash Nunez from the start, while Jota is likely to make the bench.
After being sent off for violent conduct against Palace, a Goodison derby perhaps isn’t the most ideal game for Nunez’s return, but the Uruguayan offers the Reds’ attack a different dimension that could ideal to face Lampard’s side.
If Klopp wanted to make more changes, the Reds’ starting XI could look like this:
Matip in for Gomez at the back
Milner in for Henderson
Nunez to replace Firmino in attack
That would see Liverpool line up as follows:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Elliott, Milner; Salah, Diaz, Nunez
Plenty to ponder, then, for Klopp.
The Liverpool boss has opted to make changes against Everton in the past, and with players returning, at least the bench should be looking healthier this weekend...CONTINUE.YOUR.READING
No bigger game than the derby. Up the Reds!