23 October 2019 16:45
Liverpool haven't had the best of records on the road in the Champions League group stages of last. Fabinho can stay in the starting line-up and can be joined in the centre by James Milner. Naby Keita has earned a chance in an advanced role behind Roberto Firmino, while Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are the wide men. My team (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Gomez, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner; Salah, Keita, Mane; Firmino. No Trent Alexander-Arnold thanks a virus, but Alisson Becker stays between the posts for me behind a back four of Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson.
Naby Keita gets a chance to build on a decent cameo at Manchester United on Sunday in my midfield three with James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum. The leaves my front three and I'm recalling Mohamed Salah to start alongside Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. My team (4-3-3) Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita; Salah, Mane, Firmino. Having made minimal changes so far this season, I'm expecting Jurgen Klopp to pick a very different side against Genk to the one that faced Manchester United. The defence picks itself as a result of the duo's absence with Joe Gomez coming in at right-back and Dejan Lovren filling in at centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk.
So further ahead, it looks a little different: Mohamed Salah on the right, with Divock Origi on the left and Sadio Mane through the middle. My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Lallana, Keita; Salah, Mane, Origi. Alisson dons the No.1 shirt as the goalkeeper makes his welcome return to Champions League football. With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip watching on from Merseyside, Joe Gomez comes in at right-back with Dejan Lovren making moves in the middle of defence alongside Virgil van Dijk. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita provided some much-needed propulsion at Old Trafford, and will do so from the start in Belgium.
Ahead of the match, Het Nieuwsblad (via Sport Witness) asked Origi if he'd one day return to the club he first left in 2010 with a short hop across the border to play for Lille in Ligue 1. Responding to the question of whether he'd consider playing for Genk again, Origi said: "I've received that question many times, you never know. Genk is my favourite club in Belgium and my father has played there. Origi also revealed that Klopp was very quick to question him about Genk once it was confirmed Liverpool would be in the same Champions League group. "Yes [Klopp knows I played at Genk], because when the Champions League draw was held, we were on the training ground," Origi explained. GENK face Liverpool in the Champions League as the massive underdogs - a scenario which would be very different had they kept their best players. That changed with last year's Jupiler Pro League title and Genk have already earned a solid draw against Napoli in the Champions League. The Manchester City playmaker moved to Genk from Gent as a boy and quickly earned his chance in their first-team. And the Liverpool match-up will mean a reunion with current Red Divock Origi, who started out in Genk's academy. In today's paper edition of Corriere della Sera, they have dismissed the idea that tonight's Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund is a final for Inter as some have suggested. Dortmund currently sit top of their Champions League group, which contains both Barcelona and Inter Milan, ahead of their trip to the San Siro this evening.