Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson expects the Reds to welcome back at least three players ahead of their game against Arsenal at Anfield, which would give them a fighting chance to put one over the Gunners and get their season back on track. The Reds currently have 13 players out through injury, including their first choice central defenders, but Lawrenson expects Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure to be back for the clash, which would give them some much needed solidity in defence against a fluid Arsenal front three.
Jordon Ibe is another player who was rumoured out with a hamstring injury but Lawrenson expects him to be back, thus filling up the numbers in what will still be a depleted side available for the manager. Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Divock Origi remain out in attack, while Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho are also on the treatment table.
The Reds come into the game on the back of a 2-2 draw with League two club Exeter City, where Klopp had only two senior personnel in the starting eleven, with Luis Enrique given a run out, while Christian Benteke kept his position on top of the attack. The two teams will go into replay at Anfield to decide who will progress into the next round, but Klopp is expected to get all his senior players, who are available, back for the game against Arsenal.
"Sure, we'll be missing several players, but Klopp won't use that as an excuse. It is what it is – he'll just get on with it. But the fact Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho and perhaps Jordon Ibe could be back will be a relief," Lawrenson wrote in the Mirror.
The game against Arsenal will be immediately followed by Manchester United's visit to Anfield and Lawrenson expects the matches to be different as opposed to the ones Liverpool lost against ostensibly lower opposition, as both teams would come here to play football, which would suit Liverpool's style of play.
"What will help is that Arsenal — and United — will come out to play football. It isn't in their DNA so sit back and defend. When you look at Crystal Palace, West Brom, Southampton and Norwich, they all sat back and we struggled to find a way through."
"Arsenal also don't have the players to bully us. They might outplay us but they won't overpower us in midfield. And they don't really have the same set-piece threat as recent visitors to Anfield. We've had too many non-performances on our own patch this season. Wednesday would be the ideal time to address that shortcoming," he continued.