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Liverpool XI v Southampton: Henderson at centre-back; Thiago, Ox start

The Premier League champions dismantled Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park to head into Christmas on a high, but consecutive draws against West Brom (1-1) and Newcastle (0-0) have allowed Manchester United to gain serious ground on the leaders.

Klopp continues to be without key players, however, particularly at centre-back where Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez are out for the long-term with Joel Matip sidelined by a groin problem for three weeks.

Konstantinos Tsimikas is out until February, Naby Keita is sidelined, and Diogo Jota is also out – and that means Klopp’s options are limited in terms of chopping and changing.

Despite his front line scoring just once in the last two games, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino or Mohamed Salah start at St Mary’s.

Thiago Alcantara made his long-awaited comeback in the 0-0 draw after more than two months out with a knee injury and makes only his second start of the season with Georginio Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

In a surprise selection, captain Jordan Henderson partners Fabinho at centre-back.

Liverpool XI: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Fabinho, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Subs: Milner, Jones, Minamino, Shaqiri, Origi, Rhys Williams, Phillips, Kelleher, Neco Williams


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