With a crucial Champions League qualifier on the horizon and a number of injuries, Liverpool will not be at full strength for their first game of the Premier League season at Watford.

Philippe Coutinho (back), Nathaniel Clyne (muscle), Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge (thigh) are all set to miss the trip to Vicarage Road.

Let’s take a look, then, at how the depleted Reds could line up against Marco’s Silva side at Saturday lunchtime.

GK – Simon Mignolet

It could well be a different name between the sticks in a few months’ time with some strong competition for the number 1 spot, but Jurgen Klopp will keep faith with Mignolet for the moment.

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RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold

The 18-year-old is expected to fend off competition from Jon Flanagan and deputise for the injured Clyne as he looks to build on a promising breakthrough season.

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CB: Joel Matip

This is essentially a no-brainer for Klopp. Matip is widely considered the club’s best centre-back after impressing last season and will start when he is fit.

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CB: Dejan Lovren

As the frustrating pursuit of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk continues, Lovren will continue to partner Matip at the heart of the Liverpool defence.

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LB: James Milner

Whilst Milner could be pushed into the midfield in the absence of Coutinho and Lallana, paving the way for Alberto Moreno or Andy Robertson to start, it is likely he will continue as a makeshift left-back as his deputies develop.

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CM: Jordan Henderson

The Liverpool skipper is poised to make a welcome return, having finally overcome a foot injury which cut his season short in February.

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CM: Emre Can

Ideally, Liverpool would like their midfield three to be geared more towards attacking, but injuries will probably see Can, who scored a sensational overhead kick when the two teams last met, step in to play alongside Henderson. Klopp will hope this duo can ensure defensive solidity.

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CM: Georginio Wijnaldum

When Lallana returns from injury, the competition for this role will be fascinating. Yet for the next three months or so, Wijnaldum has the opportunity to make it his own. Expect the Dutchman to act as the intermediary between defence and attack on Saturday.

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RW: Mohamed Salah

After a fantastic pre-season, Salah is set to make his competitive debut against the Hornets. The Watford full-backs can expect an almighty test against the lightning-fast Egyptian.

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ST: Roberto Firmino

With Sturridge out, Firmino will almost certainly lead the line as he looks to build on last season’s tally of 11 goals. Klopp could also choose to rest the Brazilian with one eye on the Champions League qualifier and hand Divock Origi a start but that’s highly unlikely.

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LW: Sadio Mane

After missing the end of the 2016/17 season with a knee injury, Mane will return to the team in his preferred left-wing role. He completes a fearsome front three which will have opposition defenders quaking in their boots.

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