Predicted Liverpool XI v Watford: Injury boost in defence, Benteke dropped for Belgium colleague

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Few would have bet on newly-promoted Watford being above Liverpool in the Premier League table ahead of their clash at Vicarage Road.

Two games without a win leaves the Reds ninth in the table, two places and a point below the Hornets in a congested race for the European spots.

Here, CaughtOffside predicts what lineup Jurgen Klopp might go with for this difficult away trip…

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GK: Simon Mignolet

Last weekend’s 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion means that the Belgian only has one clean sheet in his last seven Premier League games.

RB: Nathaniel Clyne

Has played more games this season than any other Liverpool outfield player (23).

CB: Martin Skrtel

Could be in for a tricky afternoon against the Watford forward pairing of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, who have 10 goals between them in their last seven top-flight games.

CB: Mamadou Sakho

The Frenchman has missed Liverpool’s last seven matches but is expected to be fit to replace Dejan Lovren, who has been ruled out for a month with a knee injury, according to The Guardian.

Harry Kane & Mamadou Sakho

LB: Alberto Moreno

The bombarding Spaniard will be responsible for providing much of Liverpool’s width if they continue with the narrow formation that Klopp has employed in recent weeks.

DMC: Emre Can

Significantly given the nod over Lucas Leiva last weekend, but the German has made more defensive mistakes than any other Premier League player this term (five).

CM: Jordan Henderson

Will be relishing the festive fixtures after missing most of the first half of the season. His goal against Albion would have been the return he had in mind, if not the result.

Jordan Henderson Liverpool

CM: James Milner

The only player in this lineup to have played Watford in the Premier League before. He won one and drew the other game against the Hornets in 2006-07, while at Newcastle United.

AMC: Adam Lallana

Currently being preferred in the attacking trio to Roberto Firmino despite having failed to find the net in 12 Premier League games this season. His two goals have come in the Europa League.

AMC: Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool are so reliant on their Brazilian magician to create chances. His exact role may depend on who is selected to lead the line, but either way Coutinho should have freedom to roam.

ST: Divock Origi

Daniel Sturridge remains unavailable and Christian Benteke off colour, so Klopp may choose to reward the Belgian with a rare start after his stoppage-time equaliser against the Baggies.

Liverpool lineup v Watford

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More Stories Adam Lallana Alberto Moreno Christian Benteke Daniel Sturridge Divock Origi Emre Can James Milner Jordan Henderson Jurgen Klopp Lucas Leiva Mamadou Sakho martin skrtel nathaniel clyne Philippe Coutinho Roberto Firmino simon mignolet