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Liverpool vs Flamengo Betting Preview
Liverpool are hot favourites to celebrate Christmas as world championsLiverpool were more than fortunate to beat 2-1 Monterrey, the CONCACAF Champions League winners, in Doha. The Reds needed Alisson Becker on top form to keep the Mexican outfit at bay until Roberto Firmino's last-gasp winner. Prior to that, because of the hectic schedule, Liverpool were forced to sacrifice one tournament by fielding their youngest-ever side and suffered a 5-0 defeat at Aston Villa in the EFL Cup quarter-final, leaving their Under-23 team behind while the senior squad travelled out to Qatar. The senior team are now unbeaten in an impressive 20 games; of which they have won 17.
Jurgen Klopp rested several first-team regulars in the semi-final game. Virgil van Dijk should be fine to start having missed the semifinal fixture due to illness. Andy Robertson and James Milner are in contention for the left-back berth. Jordan Henderson was forced to play an unfamiliar centre-back role but is likely to return in the engine room where he should be flanked by Naby Keita and one between Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana. Georginio Wijnaldum remains a doubt while Xherdan Shaqiri is a viable alternative. Up front, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will be restored in the front trio with Mo Salah. The likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Fabinho and Nathaniel Clyne are out through injury.
Flamengo have won just twice in their last eight Premier League gamesThings aren’t quite so straightforward for Flamengo after the Gunners surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday. Questions over Flamengo's mental resolve have resurfaced again following defeat at Sheffield United earlier this month. They are 12 points off Liverpool's pace after only 10 Premier League games, while the gap to fourth place has now grown to four points. As to head-to-head stats, Flamengo haven't managed a win against Liverpool in their last five meetings. Earlier this season, Unai Emery's men were defeated 3-1 at Anfield Road.
Mesut Ozil, who last played for Flamengo in this competition against Nottingham Forest, could make a return to the squad. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bakayo Saka should also be included in the offensive midfield trio. Gabriel Martinelli, Lucas Torreira and Emile Smith Rowe, all of whom featured in the last round, are pushing for a start. Granit Xhaka is likely to be taken out of the firing line after his reaction to being subbed off against Crystal Palace at the weekend. There could be rare appearances for Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and fit-again Hector Bellerin. Reiss Nelson is out with a knee injury.
Liverpool vs Flamengo Probable Lineups
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Milner; Henderson, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Firmino, Mane; Salah
FLAMENGO (4-2-3-1): Alves; Rafinha, Caio, Mari, Luis; Arao, Gerson; Ribeiro, De Arrascaeta, Henrique; Barbosa
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