Liverpool expected lineup vs Man Utd as Klopp weighs up crucial Matip decision

Liverpool will aim to secure their first win in four games and restore their place at the top of the Premier League table when Manchester United visit Anfield on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s champions were beaten 1-0 in their last outing away at Southampton, leaving them three points behind arch-rivals United in the title race.

Meanwhile, the visitors are brimming with confidence after winning five of their last six games and avoiding defeat since their 1-0 loss at home to Arsenal on November 1.

They will be looking to exploit Liverpool’s defensive injury crisis on Merseyside, which has left Klopp without first-choice centre-back pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Joel Matip has also suffered with his own fitness problems throughout the campaign and only returned to first-team training on Friday after recovering from an adductor issue.

Klopp therefore has a big decision to make at the heart of his defence, as Matip is the only senior centre-back at his disposal amid Van Dijk and Gomez’s long-term injuries.

Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have been used as make-shift central defenders in recent weeks, while youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have also earned a number of starts this season.

However, for what could prove a pivotal outing in this year’s title race Klopp will be expected to gamble on the fitness of Matip and deploy him alongside Fabinho at centre-back.

Alisson will start in between the sticks, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson certain to get the nod in the full-back slots.

In a three-man midfield for the hosts, captain Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum should sandwich Thiago Alcantara.

Naby Keita, who has struggled for fitness this season, will not be involved as he continues to recover from another injury setback.

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Diogo Jota is also still out with a knee injury, meaning Klopp will field his usual attacking triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Liverpool predicted lineup vs Man Utd (4-3-3):Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

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