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Watford v Liverpool Predicted XI

Liverpool face Watford on Saturday in the early kick hoping to take all three points and move back to the top of the Premier League table.

It has been a difficult week for Jurgen Klopp to plan his starting XI due to the uncertainty of Alisson and Fabinho's return from international duty and injuries picked up by Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones.

Klopp should have both Jota and the returning Trent Alexander-Arnold available for the match at Vicarage Road but confirmed today he will be without Alisson, Fabinho, Thiago and Jones.

A few of our writers at LFC Transfer Room have had their say about how Liverpool will line up.

Matthew Woods

Caoimhin Kelleher;

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson; 

Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita; 

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino.

Lots of changes from the last time out against City before the international break for a variety of reasons. 

The latest news revolving around Diogo Jota's fitness means that Roberto Firmino gets back into the starting XI alongside Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah.

In midfield, Liverpool will be without Fabinho as he returns to the squad from Brazil, meaning Jordan Henderson slots into the no.6. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita make their return to provide for the forward line. 

In defence I have a bit of a shake-up. No Virgil van Dijk in my lineup as rotation will play a factor as Atletico Madrid and Manchester United await within the next week.

Jöel Matip and Joe Gomez make up central defence with the returning Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at the full-back positions.

Like Fabinho's situation, Alisson is out as well. Caoimhin Kelleher gets his first Premier League start of the season in his place.

Adam Ford

Caoimhin Kelleher

Kostas Tsimikas, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson;

James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita;

Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah.

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No game in the Premier League is simple or easy but a game against a newly promoted team who have struggled so far, can allow Liverpool to try different things at the back particularly in the middle of the defence. 

There is a lot of excitement surrounding Ibrahima Konate partnering Virgil van Dijk and I think this is a game where we see it happen. Andy Robertson put in a fantastic performance for Scotland during international duty and will retain his place. 

It looks like Trent Alexander-Arnold will remain on the sidelines with injury but I believe James Milner is needed elsewhere and Joe Gomez cannot be trusted at right-back. So throw a left footer in there, why not? Tsimikas on the right!

The midfield picks itself as Liverpool could potentially have no other midfielders available for the game. 

Liverpool have injuries to Harvey Elliott, Thiago and now potentially Curtis Jones. Fabinho is also likely to be absent due to Covid quarantining, so Liverpool are not left with many options.

All three front men put in good individual performances against Manchester City and it is evident that they are growing in confidence and linking up better with every passing game. If fit, Liverpool's regular front three should continue together.

Omer Cayir

Caoimhin Kelleher 

Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson;

Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Naby Keita;

Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.

With drama surrounding the Brazilian international fixtures once again, it seems that even if Alisson and Fabinho were to be directly flown back to England after their final match, there would be no time for them to rest and recover for Saturday’s 12:30pm Kick Off. Hence, I will not feature them in this predicted XI. 

For me it is simple, Kelleher therefore replaces Alisson between the posts, as he has been superb when called upon in the last two years. 

With Alexander-Arnold recovered from injury, the back four speaks for itself, an experienced and reliable defence which will hopefully deal with a rejuvenated Watford team, under new manager Claudio Ranieri.  

With Curtis Jones confirmed to be injured, this leaves a toss up between Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. 

Based on the fact that I see Keita as higher than Oxlade-Chamberlain in the pecking order, I feel Klopp will go with the Guinea international.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane pick themselves out wide and I believe the well-rested Roberto Firmino will spearhead the attack ahead of Diogo Jota, to rekindle memories of our famous front three. 

Whilst Jota seems to have recovered from injury, Firmino appears to be ahead of him in regard to fitness.

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