Three changes as Liverpool prepares for its first victory - the strongest possible 4-3-3 lineup.
Following a disappointing draw against Fulham, Liverpool prepares to face Crystal Palace at Anfield tomorrow night in search of their first win of the season.
The Eagles were defeated by Arsenal in their own stadium on opening night and will face the Reds, who will need to step up if they are to earn all three points.
In terms of team news, we can anticipate Jurgen Klopp making three changes to the squad that started against the Cottagers last weekend.
Ibrahima Konate is still out with an injury, and Matip’s availability is now in doubt as well. In this case, Joe Gomez could rejoin Virgil van Dijk in central defense.
Although Kostas Tsimikas could return, Liverpool should keep Robertson and Trent at fullback.
Midfielders such as Jones, Ox, and Thiago are out injured, but Naby Keita’s return has given the Reds a boost.
The Guinean international could return to the starting lineup to partner Fabinho and Henderson in the center.
In terms of attack, Roberto Fimrino is set to make his 200th Premier League appearance, but after a lackluster performance against Fulham, it is time to give Darwin Nunez his first start.
The Uruguayan center forward must start in the No.9 position, with Salah and Diaz starting on the flanks.
Here is Liverpool’s best 4-3-3 lineup against Palace:
Liverpool have an ‘outstanding’ 16-year-old to watch
Lewis Koumas, 16, put his name in lights this weekend by scoring four goals for Liverpool’s Under 18s. That’s an impressive accomplishment for someone his age.
What makes it even more remarkable is that Koumas isn’t a natural striker. He’s played almost everywhere and isn’t even listed as a no.9 in the squad.
“He’s played in wide positions, as a midfielder, he’s even played at full-back for different age groups and he’s played as a No 9 as well,” coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson told the Athletic. “I congratulated him. He clearly deserves a lot of praise. It was an outstanding performance.”
But it sounds as though this could be the start of something. Koumas impressed in the role about as well as you possible can – and may be set for more.
“It would be hard not to [keep him there],” said Bridge-Wilkinson. “What did he score? Four? It was an outstanding performance.”
Lewis Koumas impresses as a striker
This is one to watch, then, as the Athletic’s article makes it every clear that Koumas has always had his admirers coming through the ranks. Four goals as you’re still learning to play as a striker is something that should raise eyebrows – another couple of displays like that and we’ll get excited.
But you’ve always got to remember just how difficult it is to translate Under 18 form to higher levels. We’ve seen them come through before in recent years, with Paul Glatzel, Layton Stewart and now Oakley Cannonier scoring for fun.
Glatzel and Stewart haven’t replicated their form with the U23s, though (now Under 21s). Injuries have simply held them back and made it almost impossible. We’ll see what this year holds, of course.
Cannonier is the latest bright young goalscorer to come through the ranks. There is understandably a lot of hype about him after 28 goals last season. But again, we’ll have to see if that form translates up a level.
Because the reality is, Liverpool haven’t produced a striker for their first-team in a very long time. Neil Mellor was the last that comes to mind and he never truly broke into the side.
Michael Owen might have been the last to truly establish themselves – and that was 25 years ago. It’s a horrendous stat but one that, hopefully, someone like Koumas or Cannonier can put right sometime soon.