It was a tough 1-0 loss for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool in the first leg of their Europa League tie against Villarreal.
Despite the loss, they have to focus on the next match, they travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City. Klopp will probably field a younger squad in preparation for the second leg in Anfield next week but it should still be strong enough to get all three points.
Danny Ward should be given another opportunity since there is really no point in playing Simon Mignolet. The Welsh ‘keeper needs to get more Premier League experience and he will be up against one of the weaker attacking teams in the division.
Jon Flanagan may finally make a return to the starting lineup. Connor Randall has been Klopp’s choice in recent weeks whenever Nathaniel Clyne has been given a break but Flanagan is still the safer, more experienced option.
The pair of Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren will likely return to the middle of the Reds’ defense on Sunday. There was a time where they were the first choice pair but Skrtel’s injury troubles and terrible performance against Southampton has dropped him down the order. They should be able to handle an anemic Swansea team that hasn’t scored in their last two matches.
Brad Smith has been a solid player every time he has been selected and getting more minutes against top flight opposition can only improve his defending.
Klopp can go with a number of players to sit in front of the defense but James Milner and Kevin Stewart are more than capable of controlling the midfield.
Milner has been playing a lot of minutes but he is also leading the Reds’ in assists. Stewart has proven himself to be a player who can hold his own against good opposition and his defensive skills will allow Milner to charge forward.
A young but difficult to deal with trio of Sheyi Ojo, Philippe Coutinho and Jordon Ibe should be able to create a lot of scoring chances. Coutinho was brought off at half-time against Villarreal due to illness but he should be ready to go by Sunday.
Both Ojo and Ibe have to view the next few matches as a very important opportunity for them to make an impression on Klopp for next season. Ojo has proven that he can be a contributor for the future, Ibe needs to follow and prove that he is worth keeping.
Daniel Sturridge was kept on the bench for the entirety of the last match but he should be back in the lineup this weekend. While he probably won’t play the full 90 minutes in anticipation for the second leg on Thursday, the fearsome striker should be able to bag a goal or two.
Via – Lineup Builder