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Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI to face Norwich is now taking shape ahead of the club’s final few pre-season friendlies. The Reds take on Serie A outfit Bologna in a double-header tomorrow in France before returning to Merseyside to face Athletic Club and Osasuna at Anfield.
Liverpool travel to Carrow Road to face Norwich on August 14 in their Premier League opener and the Reds will be desperate to get off to a good start against the Canaries, just as they did in 2019/20 on their way to their first-ever title.
Brazilian trio Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino have only just joined the training camp following their involvement at the Copa America this summer while Jordan Henderson is yet to link up with the group.
Yet slowly but surely, Klopp is beginning to piece together his team for next week’s opener and there is already a clear idea of who could feature.
Klopp is expected to hand his fringe players a chance to force their way into the team in one of the games.
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But in the other, Liverpool are expected to go strong with the exception of at least two key stars.
Alisson could sit this one out given he only arrived yesterday, in which case Caoimhin Kelleher will step in between the sticks again.
But Liverpool’s back-four for the opener is already becoming conclusively clear.
Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip are expected to partner with one another as Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk continue to step up their recovery after making their long-awaited returns against Hertha Berlin.
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Mainstays Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will then feature at full-back to complete the defence.
The midfield could then be made up of Thiago Alcantara, James Milner and Naby Keita.
Fabinho may miss out but he is expected to replace Milner in the starting XI at Norwich before dropping back into the No 6 role, with Thiago pushing on.
In attack, Firmino is likely to miss out as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota lead the attack.
Liverpool’s creative spark may now have to force his way back into the side as Klopp manages his condition following his involvement at the Copa America.
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Big performances could alter Klopp thinking though and there is plenty of football to be played before the trip to East Anglia.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of several stars who will be knocking on the door for a start.
He endured a difficult campaign the season but has looked bright in the friendlies so far, finding the net in the 4-3 defeat against Hertha.
Curtis Jones is also looking to prove he has what it takes to replace Gini Wijnaldum in the Liverpool team.
Liverpool likely XI to face Norwich (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Konate, Matip, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Thiago, Keita; Salah, Mane, Jota.
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