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EPL: Mane returns as Liverpool face Everton, seek redemption *How Reds could line up

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The champions face the Premier League leaders on Saturday as Liverpool make the short trip across Stanley Park to take on Everton in one of the most intriguing Merseyside derbies in recent years.

Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from their worst-ever Premier League defeat and one of the most embarrassing results in their entire history, having been hammered 7-2 by Aston Villa last time out.

The Reds face an Everton side sitting top of the table with an unmatched record of four wins from four so far, although it will be exactly 10 years to the day on Saturday since the Toffees last won a Merseyside derby in any competition.

Liverpool will still be without goalkeeper Alisson Becker for this match, meaning that Adrian is once again expected to deputise between the sticks.

The Spaniard was heavily criticised for another mistake against Aston Villa – a lapse which gifted them the opening goal and set the tone for the match going forward as Liverpool’s back-up keeper shipped seven goals.

Speculation that Klopp could look to bring in a replacement from the Championship or as a free agent has come to nothing, while he is still thought to regard Adrian as a better option than third-choice Caoimhin Kelleher.

Liverpool are boosted by the returns of Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane, though, both of whom are now back in training after recovering from coronavirus.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita became the third and fourth Liverpool players to test positive for COVID-19 during the international break, although Shaqiri’s has now been confirmed as a false positive and so he will be available to Klopp for this match.

Thiago is set to make his full debut for the club, and there will be plenty of interest as to which role he takes up; he often played as a holding midfielder at Bayern Munich to pull the strings from deep but also had a player alongside him in that system, and so Klopp may opt to use him further forward to keep the added defensive protection of Fabinho.

Captain Jordan Henderson is also expected to come back into the side after returning from injury for England during the international break, but despite conceding seven times last time out there are unlikely to be any changes in defence.

Joel Matip is back available after injury should Klopp look to shake things up, with Joe Gomez’s position seemingly the most in danger.

It could be a landmark occasion for Mohamed Salah as he looks for his 100th Liverpool goal in his 159th game for the club; should he achieve that then he will become the 17th player to reach a century of goals for the Reds, and the third-fastest behind only Roger Hunt and Jack Parkinson.

(Sportsmole)


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