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Jurgen Klopp faces tough Liverpool decision after Sadio Mane altercation – Liverpool Echo

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https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/jurgen-klopp-liverpool-sadio-mane-20603623

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Liverpool’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League are well and truly alive after beating Manchester United on Thursday night.

With Chelsea and Leicester City in FA Cup final action this weekend, the Reds have the opportunity to close the gap on the top four when they travel to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp welcomed Caoimhin Kelleher and Divock Origi back to his matchday squad against the Red Devils, but with the former one of two substitute goalkeepers named alongside Adrian, it highlights how Liverpool‘s squad remains down to the bare bones despite their improved form in recent weeks.

And with the Reds now taking on relegated West Brom, they’ll know their win at Old Trafford will be for nothing if they drop points at the Hawthorns.

So with Liverpool facing three fixtures in the final week of the campaign, what changes will Klopp be considering against the Baggies?

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Unchanged at the back

With Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies seemingly still sidelined, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are expected to continue their centre-back partnership against Sam Allardyce’s side with defensive stability as vital for Liverpool as they look to break into the top four.

Neco Williams came off the bench in place of Mohamed Salah against Manchester United in stoppage-time to make his first Premier League appearance since March. However, both the Welshman and Kostas Tsimikas are set to remain as substitutes if Klopp resists changing his backline.

Curtis Jones rewarded

Curtis Jones put in an impressive cameo appearance at Old Trafford, setting up Salah for Liverpool’s fourth goal, and could be in line for a first Premier League start since early March.

Should the Scouser come into Klopp’s starting XI, it is between Thiago Alcantara and Gini Wijnaldum who would drop out.

The Spaniard completed the full 90 minutes in an impressive display at Old Trafford, while the Dutchman was withdrawn with 15 minutes to go, suggesting it could be the former who is rested if Liverpool look to swap things around.

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However, with Wijnaldum currently set to leave the club this summer at the end of his contract, Klopp might decided to opt with players he knows will be available to next season.

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James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all missed the trip to United through injury and are unlikely to return in time to face West Brom.

Mane response to altercation

Sadio Mane made headlines after snubbing Jurgen Klopp’s high five following Liverpool’s win at United, having only been utilised as a substitute.

But with his manager playing down the exchange, the Senegalese can expect to be handed an instant recall at the Hawthorns as he looks to respond in the right manner.

As such, Klopp faces a tough decision after Salah, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota all scored at Old Trafford.

With the Egyptian still challenging for the Premier League Golden Boot and the Brazilian the man to drop out last weekend against Southampton, it would not be a surprise to see the Portuguese this time named on the bench.

Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri are also options if Klopp decides to rotate his pack further.

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