Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp must make four changes vs Porto with Man City clash in mind


Liverpool turn their attentions back to the Champions League after an energetic thriller against Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday evening. The Reds were held 3-3 by the Bees as they squandered a chance to move three points clear at the summit, having twice been in front in west London.

Liverpool must put their disappointments to one side as they once again concentrate on their ambitions of a seventh European Cup following their 2019 triumph in Madrid against Tottenham.

Having beaten AC Milan 3-2 at Anfield earlier this month, Liverpool’s second group stage encounter of the campaign sees them take on a familiar opponent in Porto.

The two clubs met in the round of 16 in 2017-18 and then again in the 2018-19 quarter-finals and won three of the four meetings.

Liverpool won 5-0 away at Porto in the first leg of their first knockout round fixture three years ago before a 0-0 draw at Anfield, then the following season won 2-0 at home and 4-1 away.

Having scored nine goals in two visits to the Estadio do Dragao, Jurgen Klopp will be hopeful of another strong result in Lisbon this week.

But the German will be well aware that title rivals Manchester City await in the league this weekend in what promises to be a high-intensity and high-quality clash at Anfield.

As a result, the Liverpool manager may need to make several changes to his starting eleven in Portugal to keep players fit and fresh to try and clinch a huge three points over City on Sunday.

Those changes will begin in defence where Klopp may opt to change his centre-back partnership once more, after first-choice duo Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip played at Brentford.

Van Dijk was unusually flustered in the clash in England’s capital and could be afforded a rest here, just as he was in the opening Champions League match against Milan when Ibrahima Konate made his debut.

And Konate could return to the XI here next to Joe Gomez to form the same partnership that kept a clean sheet in a Carabao Cup win over Norwich last midweek.

Klopp has already shown a willingness to protect Matip against injury after he rested the Cameroonian against Palace and Norwich, and he could put him on the bench again at Porto with Konate and Gomez a good enough duo to thwart their Group B rivals.

In attack, Roberto Firmino came off the bench at Brentford for his first appearance since the draw with Chelsea on August 31 and should make a first start since that same date in Portugal.

Firmino would most likely replace Diogo Jota through the middle with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane then starting out wide.

Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino will hope to get an opportunity off the bench after some encouraging recent displays but starting only Salah of the recognised front three might be too big a risk. The visitors may instead look to get the game won and then bring on the likes of Origi and Minamino as early as possible in the second half in an ideal scenario.

With Atletico Madrid having drawn at home to Porto last time out, Liverpool boss Klopp will be eager not to take their opponents lightly but even with four changes should name a starting line-up good enough to make it two wins from two in Europe.

Four changes Liverpool could make vs Porto

Matip out, Konate in
Van Dijk out, Gomez in
Robertson out, Tsimikas in
Jota out, Firmino in


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