Rotation inspired by the Champions League has finally arrived in the Premier League as Liverpool host Newcastle this afternoon.
Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) has fallen foul of it at Anfield, dropping to the bench with Divock Origi (£5.4m) leading the Reds’ line. Perhaps that is no surprise as the Brazilian was in action for his country in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Ahead of a packed fixture list with seven games in 21 days, Jurgen Klopp has also opted to give Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (£6.3m) his first league start of 2019/20 at the expense of captain Jordan Henderson (£5.5m).
Liverpool’s defensive quartet remains unchanged in the form of Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.1m), Virgil Van Dijk (£6.5m), Joel Matip (£5.5m) and Andy Robertson (£6.9m) with Adrian (£4.6m) continuing to marshall the backline in the absence of Alisson (£5.8m).
Klopp’s decision to rest both Henderson and Firmino is telling of the packed fixture list that sits on the horizon, yet this may also point to a propensity for rotation within Liverpool’s squad over the winter months, but for now the highly owned attacking assets of Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Saido Mane (£11.5m) retain their starting berths.
Steve Bruce has opted to make just one change to the Newcastle side who drew with Watford last time out, with Jonjo Shelvey (£5.0m) earning a start in place of Sean Longstaff (£5.0m).
The attacking option in the form of Shelvey as opposed to the more defensively-orientated Longstaff could be telling of Bruce’s plans to play swift, counter-attacking football against the Reds, but the likes of Fabien Schar (£5.0m), Jamal Lascelles (£4.5m) Paul Dummett (£4.5m) and Emil Krafth (£4.5m) will have to be on top of their game at Anfield to take anything from the side who currently sit 1st in the Premier League going into Gameweek 5.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mane, Salah, Origi.
Newcastle XI (5-3-2): Dubravka, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Krafth, Hayden, Shelvey, Willems, Atsu, Joelinton, Almiron.
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