Liverpool begin their tilt at a 20th top flight title with a trip to newly promoted Fulham on Saturday lunchtime.
Jurgen Klopp was twice frustrated by Fulham when the clubs last met during the 2020/21 campaign as Liverpool were held to just a point in west London before suffering an Anfield defeat. However, Liverpool haven’t lost at Craven Cottage since Clint Dempsey’s late winner felled a Reds side boasting Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing back in 2011.
Here’s the XI Klopp may deploy to avoid the setbacks of a decade ago.
Alisson (GK) – The Brazilian number one has lost more Premier League games against Fulham (one) than he has against Manchester United (zero).
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – After a crisp Community Shield opener, Alexander-Arnold has the chance to score in consecutive Liverpool appearances for the first time in his senior career.
Joel Matip (CB) – The front-footed centre-back turns 31 two days after the trip to Craven Cottage but managed to hold off the challenge of the junior Ibrahima Konate for much of last season.
Virgil van Dijk (CB) – Liverpool’s towering presence at the back offered simple advice for the club’s new recruits: “Don’t get distracted” – a maxim Van Dijk clearly upholds in each outing.
Andrew Robertson (LB) – Scotland’s skipper has hit double digits for assists in three of the last four Premier League seasons, a return only his opposite fullback on Merseyside can match across the entire division.
Jordan Henderson (CM) – Heading into his eighth season as Liverpool captain, Henderson is one of only seven men to have worn the armband for more than 200 games.
Fabinho (CM) – The summer arrival of Fabio Carvalho has foisted a new nickname upon the artist formerly known as “Fab”; “Flaco” – Spanish for skinny.
Thiago Alcantara (CM) – The metronome in Klopp’s heavy metal football started less than half the available Premier League matches last season due to injury problems that have dogged his career.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – Looking leaner after a rare summer of rest, relaxation and renegotiations.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – While Darwin Nunez hogged the headlines after a goal-scoring debut last weekend, Klopp may not bench a player he is at pains to praise whenever possible – and one who is keen to remain at the club.
Luis Diaz (LW) – Amid the upheaval of a midseason move, Diaz hit the ground running on Merseyside last term. Now with the benefit of a preseason, the prospect of a full-throttle Diaz is frightening.