Predicted Liverpool lineup against FC Porto: Wijnaldum in for… – The Hard Tackle
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Predicted Liverpool lineup against FC Porto: Wijnaldum in for… – The Hard Tackle

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is likely to keep the changes to a minimum when his side travel to Portugal to face Porto in the Champions League quarter-final.

Liverpool will be aiming to make it through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, when they face off against FC Porto in the second leg of their quarter-final tie at Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds enter the second leg as the overwhelming favourites to qualify for the next round, as they boast a 2-0 lead from the first leg. And they will be keen on avoiding any slip-ups in Portugal and keep their hopes of going all the way in the competition alive.

Liverpool will go into the game without defender Dejan Lovren, who has not travelled with the rest of the squad owing to illness. Speaking of the Croatian international, Klopp told the club’s official website, “Dejan is ill. He had a bad night, the Doc was there and he had no chance to travel. That is the reason for that.”

Lovren had started the first leg at Anfield alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Reds’ defence. However, with him unavailable, Joel Matip is set to partner up with the Dutchman on Wednesday. Andrew Robertson missed the first leg with suspension, but is available now and should start at left-back, with Trent Alexander-Arnold completing the Liverpool backline guarding Alisson in goal.

There were concerns over the fitness of captain Jordan Henderson after the England international came off with an ankle injury against Chelsea at the weekend. Klopp, though, has claimed that the injury was nothing major. “Hendo is all fine. Nothing happened. We all have knocks and Hendo got a knock, but that would never take him out,” he said.

Predicted Liverpool lineup against FC Porto: Wijnaldum in for... - The Hard Tackle 1

Despite Klopp’s insistence that Henderson’s condition was nothing serious, the German might not risk his captain as an injury at this stage could hurt their Premier League title run-in. Hence, the Englishman might be benched for Wednesday, with Georginio Wijnaldum taking up his place in the middle of the park.

Fabinho has become an indispensable part of the Liverpool side and should once again feature in the No. 6 role on Wednesday night. James Milner and Naby Keita will battle for the third midfield slot, but the Guinean’s recent goal-scoring form should tilt the balances in his favour.

Sadio Mane scored a hat-trick last time he visited Estadio do Dragao and will be looking forward to making a similar impact on Wednesday, starting out on the left flank for Liverpool. On the opposite side, Mohamed Salah is a guaranteed starter, with Roberto Firmino spearheading the attack against Porto.

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