Liverpool vs. Norwich City: Predicting the Reds’ starting XI on PL opening night

Liverpool host Norwich City tonight at Anfield to kick off the Premier League season. The Reds are undefeated against Norwich City in their last 10 meetings in the league. Eight of those matches ended in Liverpool victories.

Following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the Community Shield, a 5-4 loss on penalties, Jurgen Klopp may only slightly tweak his starting XI.

Liverpool Reds FC Blog’s view

Klopp’s biggest change could come in defence. Joel Matip started against Manchester City on the bench with Joe Gomez at centre-back. Liverpool looked their most vulnerable in the first half and it wasn’t until Matip entered and Gomez shifted to right-back that the defence looked its strongest.

Matip should get the start ahead of Gomez after once again showing his partnership with Virgil van Dijk is one of the best in Europe. Gomez should find himself on the bench with Trent Alexander-Arnold playing at right-back. With Norwich City vulnerable to the runs of Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson on the left side, Liverpool should find joy down the flanks.

The big news for the fixture is Sadio Mane could feature. After just two weeks off between the Africa Cup of Nations and the kick-off of the Premier League, the forward could play a part. It is likely, however, Mane starts on the bench with Divock Origi once again playing on the left. Origi did well against Manchester City in the Community Shield.

So, who will be in Liverpool’s starting XI? We predict:

Klopp could introduce Mane in the second half to give the Senegal man a chance to test his fitness. Naby Keita could also be unveiled after a solid preseason match against Lyon and Community Shield. Xherdan Shaqiri seems to be back in good graces with Klopp and could also be introduced as a second-half substitute.

Liverpool have the opportunity to take a big first step in the Premier League season especially with Manchester City playing a tricky away fixture at West Ham.

Stay up to date with Liverpool Reds FC Blog on both Twitter and Facebook for today’s Premier League opener.

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