Liverpool welcome Brighton to Anfield on Wednesday off the back of two wins in London.
However, the defensive crisis has worsened now that Joel Matip joins Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the sideline till the end of the season.
February is a big month for the Reds with as many as three games against the top six, as well as their first knockout round fixture against Red Bull Leipzig.
Injuries is the word on everyone’s lips and mind and a word people want to not have to say till the season’s over at least.
A positive end to January saw the end of a quite frankly terrible month for the manager, players and fans.
Two 3-1 wins against Tottenham and West Ham appear to allow the Reds to turn a corner with a bit of luck going our way, barring injuries.
How should Liverpool line up?
We asked LFCTR writers for who they think should start on Wednesday night, should Ozun Kabak and/or Ben Davies make their debut or should the Reds stick to those who’ve won the last two?
Giving a debut days after signing is highly unlikely in any situation, even this one. Liverpool made moves that were certainly to address direct issues in defence, but without proper training sessions under their belt, Jordan Henderson will get the nod over Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak at the back.
Nat Phillips has been immense in his appearances for the club this season. He’s had a few Man-of-the-Match performances and paired with Hendo, has provided a formidable back-line in the game and a half they’ve been together in defense.
Overall, think Phillips will stay in the backline. Can see Kabak making his debut vs Leicester on February 13th with City being a tough option for a debut.
Eventually, Kabak will be the starter, and allow Henderson to move back to midfield. Fabinho, though, can’t see him back in midfield until preseason.
Outside of defence, Oxlade-Chamberlain gets a start, while Firmino returns to the starting XI.
Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Phillips, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Shaqiri. (@IAMMattWoods)
Despite the new arrivals of Davies and Kabak I think Klopp will stick with the same defence that saw him through West Ham and the second half against Spurs.
Phillips has been excellent and him and our captain should have more than enough to overcome any Brighton threat. I’d expect Davies to make the bench but it will probably be too soon for Kabak.
I’d make one change to the midfield that has worked so well recently.
Despite not looking it at times James Milner is 34 years old and has hamstring issues.
Curtis Jones showed his talent and made an instant impact in setting up Mo Salah’s opener at the London Stadium, he should get the nod.
Again, I’d expect just one change in the attack and that’s Roberto Firmino to replace Divock Origi.
The Brazilian looks back to his best again and is ready to go from the start. Shaqiri also deserves another start after his majestic assist on Sunday.
Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Henderson, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Shaqiri (@calcio_danny)
I think that the Brighton game could be the perfect opportunity for Ben Davies to make his debut for Liverpool.
Personally, I would partner him with Nathanial Phillips after his impressive performance against West Ham.
Ozan Kabak would be my choice, however, he has only just moved overseas and didn’t fly until today, meaning it might not be ideal for him to be thrown in straight away.
This move would also allow Jordan Henderson to move back into his more comfortable position in midfield, meaning that Thiago and Wijnaldum could be deployed further ahead with Henderson holding.
Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Davies, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Shaqiri (@samjones4556)
With the run of games we have ahead of, City, Leipzig, Leicester and Everton, the matches and the gulf between us and Pep Guardiola’s side, I don’t think there will be a chance for either January signing to get a chance.
Don’t get me wrong, the Henderson and Phillips centre-back pairing is flourishing but we can’t run the risk of any more injuries at the back.
Hypothetically, any more injuries will see either Davies or Kabak thrusted in and it’s not the way you want to introduce two players who haven’t trained with their team or any inkling of what Premier League football is like.
Especially against Man City or Leicester. Give them a chance against Brighton, a game we’re likely to dominate and then swap Phillips and Henderson back in for Sunday, rotation at this point is key.
Bring Firmino back in to start with have Salah and Shaqiri on the wings, we know from the game at the AMEX they are susceptible from passes in behind.
Hopefully they line up to play at Anfield and not following the system that West Brom, Burnley and countless other teams have.
With the Egypitian King back amongst the goals, I’d expect him to carry his form into this game.
Starting XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Davies, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Jones, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Shaqiri.