Chelsea’s surprise home defeat to Arsenal in midweek has thrown open the top four race once again, and Liverpool’s thrilling 4-2 win at Manchester United on Thursday night means the champions are still in with a chance of Champions League football.
The win at Old Trafford sent Liverpool fifth, three points behind Chelsea with a game in hand. Thomas Tuchel’s Blues face Leicester in the FA Cup Final on Saturday, so Liverpool could be just a point behind when Chelsea play their next League game – coincidentally against third-placed Leicester on Tuesday.
With either Leicester, Chelsea or both sides guaranteed to drop points in that game, Liverpool are making a late charge for the top four – and Jurgen Klopp will leave his players under no illusions as to the importance of Sunday’s trip to The Hawthorns.
While the champions still have a lengthy injury list, they have won their last two games with Diogo Jota starting. Sadio Mane was the fall guy at Old Trafford and reacted angrily to an attempted fist-bump from Klopp at full-time, so the Senagal star could once again be on the bench as Jota plays with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, who also scored in Manchester.
With Liverpool on a rare winning streak this season, Klopp may not want to change too much regarding his back line – or his starting lineup in general – with centre-backs Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams rallying well after conceding early on at Old Trafford.
Liverpool predicted XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Williams, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Jota
Liverpool provisional squad: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, R Williams, Phillips, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Mane, Adrian, N Williams, Koumetio, Tsimikas, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Shaqiri, Woodburn.
Injury list: Henderson, Milner, Van Dijk, Keita, Davies, Matip, Gomez, Kabak, Kelleher, Origi