Liverpool starting lineup to face Atalanta – predicted

After the disappointment of Sunday's draw against Manchester United, Liverpool turn their attention to the Europa League with the first leg of the quarter final against Atalanta.

The Reds have long been favourites to reach the final in Dublin on 22 May and now know the exact path they will need to take to get there.

Should they get past Atalanta, one of Marseille or Benfica awaits, while Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen are the most likely opponent for the final — though West Ham are still a possibility.

It's one game at a time though and Liverpool will need to be on it at Anfield on Thursday to give themselves a strong chance of progression.

The Italians may be in patchy form domestically (one win in six), but saw off Ruben Amorim's Sporting CP in the last round.

Here's how Jurgen Klopp could line up his side for the first leg of the quarter final.


Goalkeeper & Defence

Joe Gomez

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Luton Town FC LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 21, 2024: Liverpool s Joe Gomez during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Luton Town FC at Anfield. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Alisson is set to return to full training soon, but this tie should come to soon for the Brazilian, meaning Caoimhin Kelleher will continue in goal. Remarkably, the 25-year-old Irishman has now overtaken Alisson for games played in 2023/24.

Conor Bradley may be rotated out for this one, giving Joe Gomez a run out on the right side of defence.

If fit, one would expect Ibrahima Konate to come back into the starting lineup alongside Virgil van Dijk, but the Frenchman's fitness is an ongoing doubt.

Andy Robertson should continue at left back.

Like Alisson, this game is likely not a realistic return date for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is stepping up his fitness.

Midfield

Alexis Mac Allister for Liverpool vs Sheffield United.

Liverpool v Sheffield United - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool s Alexis Mac Allister centre celebrates scoring their side s second goal of the game with team-mates during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday April 4, 2024. Copyright: xPeterxByrnex 75786107

Wataru Endo has played in eight out of eight for Liverpool in the Europa League so far and that should continue on Thursday night.

Harvey Elliott is another who has featured in all of the Reds' European games this season and is likely to line up on the right hand side of the midfield, after another impressive cameo at the weekend in which he won the game-saving penalty against United.

Alexis Mac Allister's recent form makes him more or less undroppable at the moment, though Klopp does have plenty of options with Curtis Jones and Ryan Gravenberch both fit again.

Stefan Bajcetic's return to training means he too might be option for the squad, albeit an improbable one.

Attack

Darwin Nunez vs Sheffield United.

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Sheffield United FC LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 4, 2024: Liverpool s Darwin Nunez celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda LIVERPOOL Anfield MERSEYSIDE ENGLAND Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2024-04-04-Liverpool_Sheff_Utd-18

A strong front line is to be expected from Klopp as we get into the business end of the competition, even with another crunch Premier League game against Crystal Palace coming just three days later.

Darwin Nunez is Liverpool's top scorer in the Europa League this season with five and should start through the middle.

Mo Salah is one behind him on four, while the Egyptian bagged a hat-trick of assists last time out.

Luis Diaz is most likely to complete the attacking trio on the left. The Colombian has three goal involvements in as many games, but faces added competition with the imminent return of Diogo Jota from injury.

Cody Gakpo scored twice in the 6-1 win over Sparta Prague last time out in the competition and remains the other option for Klopp in attack.

Predicted Liverpool starting XI vs Atalanta

(4-3-3): Kelleher; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Endo, Macca; Salah, Nunez, Diaz

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