Liverpool will face a stern test this weekend in their second outing of the new season. On Sunday afternoon, the defending Premier League champions will travel to Stamford Bridge to take on title hopefuls Chelsea.
The Reds will enter the match with the west Londoners on the back of an opening day thriller with Leeds United.
Jurgen Klopp’s men ran out 4-3 winners against the Whites, with an 88th-minute penalty from Mohammed Salah ensuring the Merseysiders got off to a winning start.
The fact his side conceded three goals against last season’s Championship winners will no doubt still be playing on Klopp’s mind.
And it will have undoubtedly forced him to reconsider his centre-back pairing for Sunday’s trip to west London.
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None of Liverpool’s back four covered themselves in any glory last weekend, although their shakiness made for a thoroughly entertaining match
None of Liverpool’s back four covered themselves in any glory last weekend, although their shakiness made for a thoroughly entertaining match.
England international Joe Gomez was the shakiest of the quartet, making an excessive amount of mistakes.
Gomez’s less than stellar display could prompt Klopp to recall the ever-steady Joel Matip to the starting XI.
And the prospect of Germany international Timo Werner running at the out-of-sorts Gomez could induce Klopp to bring back Matip to the fold.
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Klopp could, however, end up killing Gomez’s confidence by benching after one poor performance.
Liverpool’s back four weren’t solely to blame for last weekend’s less-than-impressive performance.
None of the Reds’ midfielders managed to get stuck into their opposite numbers and take the game by the scruff of the neck.
That failure, which was clear and evident, could lead to the recall of Brazil international Fabinho, who was benched for the visit of Leeds.
His tenacity and willingness to get up and down the pitch will be vital if the Reds are to leave the Bridge with all three points.
A place in the starting XI for Fabinho would likely see Naby Keita relegated to the bench.
However, just like with Gomez, Klopp risks shattering the confidence of the Guinea international by relegating him to the bench after one below-par performance.
It’s undeniable that Klopp faces two tough decisions over the coming days. But given how vulnerable his troops were last weekend, it’s likely he’ll ring in the changes.
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