Defending champions Liverpool will travel to Southampton for their first game of 2021 in the Premier League on Monday night.
In the ridiculously successful environment that Jurgen Klopp’s side have fostered over the past few seasons, their current streak of back-to-back draws (no losses, draw) is enough to cause an illicit moderate surprise.
Liverpool have not lost points in three consecutive Premier League games since the end of the 2017/18 campaign and, with the rare privilege of five days to prepare, here is the roster they should use to maintain this record.
Alisson (GK) – As Newcastle United’s Karl Darlow stole the headlines from Liverpool’s trip to St James’ Park, Alisson went about his business serenely between the other posts, as he did for the vast majority of his time in Merseyside.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – Injuries and a slight drop in form have conspired to leave Liverpool’s regular chief designer with just two Premier League assists this season, Klopp is highly unlikely to lose faith in the 22-year-old.
Nathaniel Phillips (CB) – After a Premier League first clean sheet against Newcastle last time around, Phillips could be in line to start back-to-back high-profile games for the Reds for the first time as Klopp manages his dwindling defensive resources.
Fabinho (CB) – Now firmly anchored in the heart of Liverpool’s backline, it sounds like distant memories of a bygone era when the remarkably versatile Fabinho elegantly patrolled the midfield.
Andrew Robertson (LB) – Amid the wave of rotation across the squad, Klopp can’t do without his filibuster and left-back defensively for a single Premier League minute.
Curtis Jones (CM) – The 19-year-old’s integration into the first team was so seamless that the academy product practically skipped the dreaded control that comes with a prospect’s tag and slipped straight into the regular setup.
Jordan Henderson (CM) – With the captain’s armband proudly on his arm, the anchor of the Liverpool midfielder is a virtual certainty in the starting lineup when he’s in shape – and even sometimes when he’s not.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – The Liverpool number five has missed just one league game since the summer of 2019, starting 49 of the previous 54 outings. After a rare appearance on the bench on Wednesday, the Klopp midfielder is expected to be in line for another run out.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – After stealthily climbing the scoring charts once again this season, Salah should have the opportunity early on to add to his tally of 13 goals in 15 league appearances this season.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – Despite Liverpool’s recent pair of draws, Firmino has returned to form that Klopp never doubted he lost in the first place.
Sadio Mane (LW) – With Diogo Jota still on the treatment table, Mane is almost certain to retain his starting spot against his former team.