Liverpool are looking to pull what would rank among the greatest comebacks in European football when they face Barcelona at Anfield tonight after falling 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final encounter.
Virgil van Dijk starts for the Reds in tonight’s must-win encounter.
Van Dijk and the recently-returned Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both missed training on Monday as doubts emerged regarding their availability, though both players took part in bespoke sessions today.
The Dutch defender has been passed fit to start at Anfield, but Oxlade-Chamberlain misses out altogether as Liverpool look to overturn a 3-0 first-leg defeat.
With Sadio Mane the only member of Jurgen Klopp’s vaunted front three fit enough to feature, the manager has opted to hand Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri rare starts.
Liverpool were dealt a huge blow with the news that both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino would miss the high-profile contest at Anfield.
Salah suffered a concussion after colliding with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka during the second half of Liverpool’s 3-2 Premier League win on Tyneside on Saturday, while Firmino missed that fixture entirely due to the groin issue that also restricted him to a late cameo in Catalonia last week.
Klopp has settled on a new attacking combination, with Origi and Shaqiri included after rescuing a win from the bench at St James’ Park after Daniel Sturridge flattered to deceive once more.
Liverpool are without Naby Keita against Barcelona after the Guinea international suffered an adductor injury in the first leg that will see him miss approximately two months and the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. Adam Lallana remains sidelined with an unspecified muscle issue.
With a 26th LaLiga title already clinched with three matches to spare, Barcelona had the luxury of resting the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba at the weekend – though they paid for that with a 2-0 defeat to battling Celta Vigo.
All of those first-team regulars return, with Philippe Coutinho starting against his former club once again with Ousmane Dembele suffering a thigh injury at Balaidos.
Rafinha remains a long-term absentee, while young centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo is struggling with a knock.
Confirmed team news and line-ups
Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Henderson, Mane, Shaqiri, Origi
Subs: Mignolet, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Gomez, Sturridge, Brewster, Woodburn
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Messi, Suarez, Coutinho
Subs: Cillessen, Semedo, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Arthur, Alena, Malcom