Monterrey vs Liverpool
Khalifa International Stadium, Doha
Wednesday, 18-12-2019 @8:30pm
Ref: Roberto Tobar (Chile)
Monterrey FC head coach-Antonio Mohamed does not have any fresh injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s meeting with Liverpool. Long-term absentee Aviles Hurtado, thus, remains the only player unavailable for Monterrey due to an Achilles injury. Mohamed is unlikely to tinker much with a winning combination when Monterrey take the field against Liverpool, lining his side up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Veteran goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero should start between the sticks for the Mexican outfit, with Luis Cardenas being his deputy. Nicolas Sanchez and young Cesar Montes will partner up at the heart of the Monterrey defence, with Stedan Medina and Leonel Vangioni being the full-back pairing. Jonathan Gonzalez will look to keep things tight in front of the defensive line, with Carlo Rodriguez likely to accompany him in the midfield double pivot. Rodriguez will be tasked with transitioning smoothly from defence to attack. The creative onus will be on Rodolfo Pizarro, who will be given the license to roam freely in the final third. The lack of a natural left winger means Jesus Gallardo will start in an advanced role on the left flank, with Dorlan Pabon being deployed on the opposite wing. Rogelio Funes Mori, the twin brother of former Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori, will lead the line for Monterrey, pipping Vincent Janssen to the central striker’s berth.
Georginio Wijnaldum has travelled with the Liverpool squad for the tournament, despite coming off injured during Saturday’s 2-0 over Watford in the Premier League. The midfielder will continue to be assessed ahead of this match but is unlikely to be risked if there is any lingering doubt over his fitness, particularly with a number of other players available for Klopp in that area of the field. Klopp could choose to hand some of his players a rest given the number of injuries his side have begun to accrue during the December schedule, although many of the star names should still feature. One of the front three could be rested with Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain among those pushing for starts. Dejan Lovren has stayed at home as he looks to recover from a thigh problem, joining Joel Matip, Fabinho and Nathaniel Clyne on the Liverpool treatment table.
Wednesday’s FIFA Club World Cup semi-final will be the first meeting between Monterrey and Liverpool. CONCACAF champions for the fourth time earlier this year, Monterrey have not been beaten in any competition since October – a run of 13 matches which includes 10 victories. Liverpool have played two games in the Club World Cup, beating Deportivo Saprissa 3-0 at the same stage in 2005, before losing 1-0 to Sao Paulo in the final. Liverpool have kept 3 clean sheets in their last four games, the same number of shut outs that they managed in the previous 19 games. Rogelio Funes Mori is the form player for Monterrey, having scored seven goals in his last five games across all competitions.