Liverpool play Newcastle in the Premier League, with six players set to be missing for Jürgen Klopp. Alexis Mac Allister is among those who are set to return.
As Arsenal’s implosion begins right on schedule, Liverpool are guaranteed to finish the first day of 2024 on top of the Premier League table — but with Manchester City’s resurgence also coming on cue, it’s still just as important to beat an injury-stricken Newcastle United side on New Year’s Day.
Jürgen Klopp expressed sympathy for the number of absences that Eddie Howe is currently dealing with but the Reds manager has some big players missing himself.
Alexis Mac Allister is expected to make a return to the matchday squad but is perhaps more likely to come off the bench having been out for six matches since suffering a nasty cut against Sheffield United in mid-December. Diogo Jota, though, made a goalscoring return against Burnley and should be in strong contention for a start.
Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić remain out but with Wataru Endō heading to the Asia Cup, Mac Allister’s return is timely. The same can be said of Jota coming back ahead of Mohamed Salah’s final game before AFCON.
Endō and Salah could miss as many as eight Liverpool matches because of international duty and will join up with Japan and Egypt respectively after Newcastle.
While Klopp is right about Newcastle’s injuries to some extent, some of the players coming into the side have been £68m duo Lewis Hall and Tino Livramento.
£40m Brazilian Joelinton is expected to be able to start here and even second-choice goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka has played over 100 games for Newcastle, so is hardly a bad back-up option.
Newcastle have struggled to cope with being in the Champions League but there is still some quality that has been available to Howe. Nevertheless, the Magpies have been dreadful for much of the campaign and have already lost eight out of 19 Premier League matches.
Here’s a full list of players available to the manager as the Reds, who really need to be beating a side that is not in great form, particularly away from home. Liverpool has injuries, but Klopp’s side should have far too much for Newcastle at Anfield.
Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Caoimhín Kelleher, Adrián.
Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Midfielders: Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endō, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Ryan Gravenberch.
Forwards: Luis Díaz, Mohamed Salah, Cody Gakpo, Darwin Núñez, Diogo Jota.
Injured: Thiago Alcântara, Stefan Bajčetić, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Joël Matip, Ben Doak.