Liverpool legend Phil Thompson has named Jurgen Klopp’s likely starting line-up for his first match in charge of the Reds against Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.
The Sky Sports pundit, however, may need to make a few amendments to his expected XI after naming Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho, who could both miss the visit to White Hart Lane through injury, in Klopp’s first starting line-up.
Thompson initially had Danny Ings in Klopp’s expected team as well, but was forced to take out the recently-capped England international after he was ruled out for the season with a serious knee injury earlier this week.
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“It's been one of the biggest managerial appointments we've seen in the Premier League but the players need to focus on their own games and not be distracted by the attention,” Thompson told Sky Sports. "Over the last few years Liverpool have had a fantastic record at Tottenham and Jurgen will look at those DVDs and which formations have worked well.
"With that in mind I think he'll go with packing the midfield like Brendan Rodgers did against Spurs, but he'll also be looking to get his best players in their best positions.”
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Thompson predicts Klopp's XI
Thompson has subsequently opted for a back-four comprised of Nathaniel Clyne, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Alberto Moreno, plus goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
In front of them, in midfield, the pundit has opted for a central trio of James Milner, Emre Can and the injured Henderson, behind Adam Lallana, Coutinho - who is a doubt for this weekend’s match - and centre-forward Daniel Sturridge.
Lucas Leiva is likely to retain his place in Liverpool’s starting line-up in the absence of Henderson, who remains sidelined with a foot injury, while Divock Origi could be an option for Klopp if Coutinho isn’t fit.
Tough first match for Klopp
Liverpool’s new manager will be desperate to begin his Anfield reign by taking all three points in north London - but that will be easier said than done.
The last time Spurs played at home - on September 26 - they hammered Premier League title favourites Manchester City 4-1.
One suspects Klopp would be more than happy to take a point from his first match in charge of the Reds - even if fans are hoping for all three.
Liverpool fans: will you beat Tottenham tomorrow? Post your score predictions in the comments below!
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