Liverpool will be hoping to continue their bid for the Champions League spots when they take on Watford FC at the Vicarage Road on Monday.
The Reds currently sit in the third position in the table, just a point above fourth-placed Manchester City and two points above Manchester United who are fifth in the standings. And with both the Manchester clubs set to play on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s side may well slip down the table before their game and will be under pressure to deliver against Walter Mazzarri’s men.
The fact that they come into the game on the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace will mean that morale will be low in the Liverpool camp and a big performance will be needed on Monday. However, they could derive some confidence from having beaten the Hornets 6-1 the last time the two teams met this season.
The big news coming out of the Reds’ camp is that midfielder Adam Lallana has returned to full training after having been out for a month due to an injury he sustained on international duty. However, it seems unlikely that he will be thrust into action from the start, but there is a good chance he will make a cameo from the bench.
The midfielder is joined by Daniel Sturridge who is back in team training providing a double boost for Klopp. However, captain Jordan Henderson still remains unavailable. Danny Ings, Sadio Mane and Adam Bogdan are out for the season.
Here is how Liverpool could line up at the Vicarage Road on Monday night:
Probable Liverpool Starting XI
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Simon Mignolet (GK)
The Belgian has cemented his place as the first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Loris Karius and has put in improved displays in recent months. He will man the goal for the Liverpool on Monday night.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB)
One of Liverpool’s most consistent performers over the course of the season, Clyne is an undisputed starter at right-back.
Joel Matip (CB)
The Cameroonian has had a fine debut season with Liverpool and he would be hoping to finish the campaign on a strong note.
Dejan Lovren (CB)
Having signed a new long-term contract with the club earlier this week, Lovren will be keen on celebrating the extension with a strong display in the backline.
James Milner (LB)
The veteran Englishman has done an excellent job in his makeshift left-back role throughout the course of the season. He will once again take the field ahead of Alberto Moreno.
Lucas Leiva (DM)
The longest serving Liverpool player in the squad currently has stepped up in Jordan Henderson’s absence. He will keep his place at the base of the midfield against Watford.
Emre Can (CM)
Having been under heavy criticism for large parts of the ongoing campaign, the German midfielder has been excellent over the past month or so. He will look to impress again on Monday night.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM)
The Dutchman has had a great first season with Liverpool, but has faded slightly in recent weeks. Long overdue for a match-winning performance.
Roberto Firmino (RW)
The Brazilian is one of Liverpool’s greatest threats in the attacking third and has created the most goal-scoring opportunities for his team this season (71). Will be a handful for the Watford defence.
Divock Origi (ST)
The 22-year old has started the last four games for the Reds, but has managed to score just once in those matches. He will want to change that against a leaky Watford defence.
Philippe Coutinho (LW)
Liverpool’s go-to man in times of need, Coutinho will need to step it up a notch at the Vicarage Road, if his team are to keep their top-four hopes burning bright.