Jurgen Klopp faces Thiago Alcantara decision as Liverpool consider new defence – Liverpool Echo

Liverpool suffered a second successive home Premier League defeat after a dismal display against Brighton on Wednesday.

Steven Alzate scored the only goal as the Reds saw their Anfield drought continue with a 1-0 reverse.

The Premier League and world champions now have a quick turnaround before they entertain Manchester City on Sunday.

And here we look ahead to the changes Jurgen Klopp could make when his team are next in action.

How many new signings?

Wednesday’s woeful evening was a little too soon for Liverpool’s fresh faces, with Ben Davies on the bench and Ozan Kabak not eligible.

With Kabak expected to have the all clear for the weekend, Klopp has the option of bringing one if not both new boys into the starting line-up against City with Nat Phillips and Jordan Henderson having been partnered at centre-back for the last two games.

The expected return of Fabinho would then give the Reds boss the option of moving either the Brazilian or Henderson into midfield with the other in defence alongside either Davies or Kabak.

Phillips, although solid in his recent appearances, appears the obvious player to drop to the bench, while Rhys Williams is now back with the under-23s.

Full-back duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson were among those below par against Brighton, but it would be a big call to promote Neco Williams or Kostas Tsimikas to the starting line-up.

Middle change

Liverpool’s engine room looked jaded in midweek, which wasn’t a huge surprise given the intense games and travelling they’ve had of late.

Introducing either Fabinho or Henderson into midfield would provide freshness, and there is also the option of playing them both in their favoured positions.

Any of the three who started on Wednesday could drop out.

James Milner seems the more likely to be rested while Thiago Alcantara could also be given a breather having appeared to be feeling the effects of being thrown into a busy schedule after such a long time out.

And Gini Wijnaldum, too, failed to sparkle as tired legs began to play their part.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

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Curtis Jones would seem an obvious recall if more energy and attacking thrust is needed in midfield, although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain doesn’t appear quite ready for a start and doubts remain over the fitness of Naby Keita.

Mane question

How Klopp will hope Sadio Mane is available having missed the last two games with a minor muscle problem.

Mane’s absence was keenly felt on the left flank, with neither Xherdan Shaqiri nor Divock Origi able to make an impression there against Brighton.

Roberto Firmino was also disappointing, but Liverpool will surely want to reunite the regular front three of the Brazilian, Mane and Mohamed Salah if possible, given City boss Pep Guardiola’s clear concern over the trio.

The other option, should Mane not make it, is to play Jones on the left – or switch to a more conventional 4-4-2 with Firmino and Salah up top and the Reds employing narrow wide midfielders.

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