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Liverpool predicted XI for league opener as Klopp makes Wijnaldum decision


Premier League champions Liverpool kick-start the defence of their title by playing host to newly-promoted Leeds this weekend.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are in relatively good shape going into their season opener but are set to be without their captain on Saturday.

Jordan Henderson has picked up a knee injury, and it seems unlikely that Klopp will rush him back to the starting XI.

“Timing-wise, not perfect that he cannot play today, but can train a few days later fully. But that’s how it is,” said Klopp, when providing an update on the England international.

“We will see how he develops, [there are] a few days until Leeds, how the boys come back from the national teams.

“A lot of open questions still, but a few hopefully we can answer today.”

Premier League champions Liverpool kick-start the defence against Leeds

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who missed the Community Shield defeat by Arsenal, is also out of contention for Liverpool with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, new signing Kostas Tsimikas remains in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus, and Xherdan Shaqiri is suffering with a minor muscle strain.

Klopp’s back five and front three are expected to look as normal, with Fabinho also retaining his place in the centre of the park.

Ahead of him, Klopp is expected to play utility man James Milner against his former side alongside Georginio Wijnaldum.

Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to start for the Reds this weekend

The Holland international has been heavily linked with a move away in recent months, but Klopp held positive talks with the midfielder this week.

He is expected to stay on at Liverpool, which could once and for all rule out the Reds signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich.

Liverpool’s predicted line-up vs Leeds: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

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