Strongest Liverpool XI vs Brighton: Salah, Shaqiri, Mane and Firmino Start, Fabinho in Centre-back

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Dejan Lovren (hamstring) has been ruled out for the next two Gameweeks, so Fabinho seems set to deputise at centre-half – though Joel Matip (collarbone) returned to training for the first time on Thursday and has an outside chance of featuring.

The fact that Jurgen Klopp discussed Fabinho’s abilities to play at centre-back in Friday’s press conference was perhaps telling, however.

Adam Lallana (knock) joins Joe Gomez (lower leg fracture) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) on the sidelines but Jordan Henderson returned to training on Friday and may come into contention.

James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum could be the pairing in central midfield with Fabinho dropping back to centre-half and Henderson a doubt, though Naby Keita will come into the reckoning if Klopp rolls out a 4-3-3.

Other than the defeat to Manchester City, Klopp has favoured a 4-2-3-1 of late so we could well see Xherdan Shaqiri reunited with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in a front four.

Rotation doesn’t seem a likely prospect with the Reds only in action on three occasions in the rest of January and a lack of available alternatives regardless surely means Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and Virgil van Dijk will return to the starting XI after rests in the FA Cup defeat to Wolves.


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