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Jurgen Klopp faces Fabinho conundrum as Liverpool ponder Diogo Jota situation – Liverpool Echo

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Liverpool steadied the ship with an important victory at rock-bottom Sheffield United on Sunday.

Curtis Jones put the Reds ahead before a Kean Bryan own goal secured a comfortable 2-0 win at Bramall Lane.

The champions now have a quick turnaround as they prepare for the visit of fellow top-four contenders Chelsea on Thursday.

And here we look ahead to the changes Jurgen Klopp could make when his team are next in action.

Kabak under threat

Whether Alisson Becker is available will be a decision taken by the goalkeeper nearer the time.

And if Thursday’s game is too soon, Adrian will continue between the sticks with Caoimhin Kelleher not quite fit enough for inclusion.

With Fabinho expected to be back, Klopp must determine where best to select the Brazilian.

Nat Phillips was impressive at Bramall Lane and seems a certain starter, meaning Ozan Kabak could be the one to drop out should Fabinho return at centre-back.

Ben Davies will hope to recover from the injury that saw him absent at the weekend where Rhys Williams was back on the bench.

At full-back, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are likely to continue, with Neco Williams on standby. Kostas Tsimikas was another to not travel to Sheffield.

Midfield variety

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The other option for Klopp is to restore Fabinho into his usual number six role in midfield.

Regardless, the Reds boss has plenty of choice in the engine room with James Milner and Naby Keita having proven their fitness with late run-outs on Sunday.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri also available, Liverpool have the scope to switch both personnel and formation should they see fit, with Klopp having tinkered slightly with positioning at Bramall Lane where Gini Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones worked well together.

Three home games in seven days – Fulham arrive on Sunday while RB Leipzig, at least at present, are scheduled at Anfield next Wednesday – means rotation is inevitable during the period, if not necessarily on Thursday.

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The Jota question

Liverpool will hope Diogo Jota has recovered from the illness that delayed his return on Sunday.

That said, it would be a big ask for the Portuguese to come straight into the starting line-up after almost three months out with a knee problem.

More likely is bench duty, with the usual triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane entrusted to start.

Divock Origi is another option, while Shaqiri and Oxlade-Chamberlain – who scored in this fixture last season – could also do a job from a wide position should Salah be moved to a more central role.

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