Liverpool make the trip to Ibrox tonight to take on Rangers in a Champions League Group A fixture.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were successful against the Premiership side in their 2-0 win at Anfield last Tuesday and will be hoping for a repeat outcome in Glasgow, but it will not be easy to achieve.
Rangers recovered well from that defeat and hit St Mirren for four last time out, with Liverpool suffering defeat on the road against Arsenal.
The Reds have now failed to win any of their five away matches this season, with confidence at a low ebb during a wretched autumn for the FA Cup winners.
Injuries to the squad have not helped, either. It’s been a consistent theme this season for Liverpool and adds weight to the viewpoint that they should have done more to bolster their options when they had the chance in the summer transfer window.
The 3-2 defeat to Arsenal on Sundau saw Luis Diaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip all pick up injuries in what made for a bitterly devastating day for the Reds overall.
Taking to his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Klopp confirmed that all three would be missing the match at Ibrox, with Diaz facing “six to eight” weeks on the sidelines.
In other news, Andy Robertson will be in the squad tonight but will not start, whilst Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain sidelined.
That brings us onto the Predicted XI to start against Rangers at Ibrox, which features four changes from the side which lost to Arsenal on Sunday.
Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas
Elliott, Fabinho, Thiago
Salah, Nunez, Jota
Despite a successful system change from Klopp last week against Rangers, we are expecting the German to revert to his more customary 4-3-3 setup, with tonight serving as an opportunity to iron out the deficiencies which have seen them struggle so far this season.
If they deploy this system and still fall short, it does not bode well for the rest of the season, so it’s safe to say that there is a lot riding on tonight’s clash.
The four changes to the team will hopefully help to steer Liverpool in the right direction again. We could see £85k-per-week Joe Gomez come in for the injured Alexander-Arnold at right-back, giving Klopp an option to use a back-three in the build-up rather than the usual two-man system.
Ibrahim Konate could replace the other casualty in Matip in what is a straightforward swap at right centre-back.
Fabinho might replace Jordan Henderson and resume his role as a single pivot in the heart of the midfield engine room, while the injured Diaz make way for Harvey Elliott to complete the system change from the 4-2-3-1 which was used against Arsenal to Klopp’s usual 4-3-3.
It’s a big game for Liverpool in their wounded state, with a win putting an end to that daunting pattern of away setbacks dating back to victory at Southampton towards the backend of last season.