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How Liverpool could line up for their first game back

:Headline: How Liverpool could line up for their first game back:
Sports Mole looks at how Liverpool could line up for their first game back after lockdown - a Merseyside derby against Everton which could see them clinch the title.

Fears that Liverpool could be denied the Premier League title through circumstances entirely out of their control have been allayed by the competition confirming their intention to begin again on June 17.

Jurgen Klopp's side have swept almost all before them this season and went into lockdown boasting a 25-point lead at the top of the table - the biggest gap between first and second in Premier League history.

The Reds need just six more points to finally secure a first top-flight crown since 1990, and they could even do it in their first game back - against Merseyside rivals Everton.

Manchester City would need to lose to Arsenal for that to be the case, but either way it now appears to be a matter of time before the champions-elect are officially crowned.

Here, ahead of their return later this month, Sports Mole looks at how Klopp could set his side up in the first game back.

Out: Nathaniel Clyne (knee)
Doubtful: Xherdan Shaqiri (calf)

Klopp should be able to name his strongest possible XI when play resumes, with only two injury doubts hanging over Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Clyne has not featured for Liverpool since 2018 and has been sidelined with a knee ligament injury for the entire campaign so far, while Shaqiri has also suffered a frustrating season in terms of his fitness.

It had been expected that Shaqiri would have recovered by this stage, although he is yet to be spotted at the training ground and so remains a doubt.

The stoppage in play has allowed Alisson Becker the chance to fully recover from his injury, though, while the back four of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson is Klopp's first-choice defensive unit.

Adam Lallana and Naby Keita are also now fit again to challenge for midfield spots alongside the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner, but the preferred trio remains Georginio Wijnaldum, Fabinho and player of the year candidate Jordan Henderson.

There is also no doubt about the first-choice front three, and Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have come through lockdown unscathed.

Divock Origi does have a superb record against Everton and so may be considered for a role on that basis, but any involvement is much more likely to come from the bench. body check tags ::

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last updated article - 2020-06-01 15:04:16:
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18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
20Norwich CityNorwich3356222561-3621
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