Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp faces tactical dilemma after Trent Alexander-Arnold injury

Klopp calls for defensive improvements from Liverpool at Porto

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will be faced with a tactical dilemma when it comes to choosing his starting line-up for the Champions League contest against Porto on Tuesday. Trent-Alexander Arnold reportedly trained with the squad on Monday but did not board the plane to Porto after picking up a knock.

It is not yet clear how long the right-back will be absent for, but the 22-year-old isn’t expected to be out of the first-team fold for too long.

Klopp’s side come into the Champions League contest at the Estadio do Dragao having already beaten Italian giants AC Milan 3-2 at Anfield in the group stage opener.

Porto meanwhile, picked up a valuable point at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico Madrid.

But with the latest injury setback to Alexander-Arnold, Klopp must decide who will fill the void left by the England defender.

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One option Klopp could opt for is the experienced and ever reliable James Milner.

The 35-year-old – who is of course, a central midfielder by trade – filled in at right-back for Alexander-Arnold when he missed out on the 3-0 win against Crystal Palace through injury.

Klopp could also hand the younger and more energetic Joe Gomez an opportunity to impress in Portugal.

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The centre-back has been starved of Premier League minutes this season, although he did captain the side in the recent 3-0 EFL Cup win over Norwich at Carrow Road.

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Naby Keita has returned to training ahead of the Champions League contest, although it is unclear if he will be ready in time to face Porto.

The Guinea international missed the draw with Brentford after picking up a foot injury in last week’s EFL Cup visit to Norwich.

With the creative void left by Alexander-Arnold, all eyes could be on Curtis Jones on Tuesday, with the midfielder starring in the Premier League on Saturday.

Jones will have the defensive minded duo of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as back-up, thus allowing the youngster to have more attacking freedom in the Liverpool midfield.

The 20-year-old’s spectacular effort put Liverpool 3-2 ahead against the newly-promoted side at the weekend, but it was not enough to secure all three points, with Brentford substitute Yoanne Wissa chipping Alisson from close range eight minutes from time.

Liverpool have drawn Porto in Europe’s premier club competition twice before in Klopp’s tenure – in the last 16 in 2017-18, and in the quarter-finals in 2018-19.

Porto were no match for Liverpool on either occasion, with Klopp’s side cruising to 5-0 and 6-1 aggregate victories.

But Klopp has said ‘Porto always change’ and the previous results against the Portuguese side don’t provide any edge on their upcoming opponents.

“Porto always change,” Klopp said. “It’s not an advantage at all that we’ve won the last two games [at Estadio do Dragao], absolutely not.

“You only have to put yourself in the position of the opponent. The first thing they want to do is make sure similar things will not happen again.

“But we are not like that – we don’t think about the last two games we played there.

“We think about this game and they have different opportunities to set up, lineup-wise, system-wise, and we have to prepare for that.”

“No [it does not give us confidence]. The last time we played there, we didn’t think about the time before because it just makes no sense.

“We all know most of the games can go either way.

“Yes, we were good. We are good. But they are a top side, no doubt about that… That’s a top team, and that’s what we are preparing for, not a team we beat before.”

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