February 24, 2024

 

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Liverpool have won their last two matches and are aiming for a third consecutive victory against Nottingham Forest.

Jurgen Klopp could be set to make changes ahead of their midweek Carabao Cup tie as the games keep coming.

Wataru Endo could be a good option to start in midfield, providing a more traditional anchor role and allowing Alexis Mac Allister to thrive in a more advanced position.

Liverpool have emerged from the international break with victories over Everton and French side Toulouse in the Premier League and Europa League respectively, and now have the chance to make it three wins on the bounce against Nottingham Forest at Anfield this afternoon.

 

Steve Cooper’s side have entered their second season in the English top flight after achieving promotion in 2022 and have so far kept their heads above the murky abyss of the relegation zone this term, but have now gone five Premier League games without a win after a stunning 1-0 display at Stamford Bridge last month.

 

That result will give the travelling team hope that a major upset can be struck, but Jurgen Klopp will ensure that the hosts are poised to inflict damage on an out-of-form opponent.

 

Liverpool team news vs Nottingham Forest

Liverpool will be expected to bring the firepower today after Klopp made eight changes for the continental clash on Thursday night, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota retaining their places.

 

Alexander-Arnold will likely play from the outset once again, but the other two might lose their places as rotation is issued to maintain the freshness and fluidity of the Reds’ squad.

 

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Curtis Jones will complete a three-match suspension stemming from his dismissal against Tottenham Hotspur in September, while Andy Robertson will continue his rehabilitation following recent shoulder surgery.

 

Spanish midfielders Stefan Bajcetic and Thiago Alcantara remain out, while teenage talent Ben Doak is not expected to be involved after missing Liverpool’s last two matches.

 

Wataru Endo could be Klopp’s midfield “machine” today

Gravenberch was the man of the hour against Toulouse this week and appears to be a more impressive signing with every passing game, having posted two goals and assists apiece since completing a £34m transfer from Bayern Munich in August.

 

The Dutchman’s performance led reporter Neil Jones to express that he’s “got the lot”, and his all-action, press-resistant style has allowed him to slot right into Klopp’s system, but it might be wise to drop him back to the bench against Forest.

 

Having started two matches in succession, relieving the 21-year-old of a starting berth may well be prudent given that a trip to Bournemouth looms on Wednesday evening in the Carabao Cup.

 

With this in mind, it would be a good move to unleash Wataru Endo from the start in the Premier League for the first time since the victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park in August.

 

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As per FBref, the £50k-per-week ace ranks among the top 15% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for goals and the top 9% for aerial wins per 90, while he was praised as a “machine” in the middle by his manager for his tough and tenacious style following his arrival.

 

The 5 foot 10 star has also been described as a “proper warrior and leader” by Bundesliga commentator Kevin Thatchard, and his industriousness in the centre could offer Liverpool a more established and traditional anchor.

 

In doing so, Alexis Mac Allister could ply his trade further upfield in his more natural role, having assumed the No 6 position across his nine outings in the Premier League for Liverpool.

 

Whether Klopp will enforce the change remains to be seen, but there’s no denying Endo deserves another shot from the start in the league, and with Gravenberch used regularly of late, it would make sense to make the adjustment and see Mac Allister’s creativity shine as a by-product.

 

Liverpool will expect to beat an injury-hit Forest team, but no match is certain in the Premier League, and this could be the apt move to make given the circumstances.

 

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