After a two week hiatus, Premier League football is finally now set to return with Premier League leaders Liverpool looking to stay put at the summit.
The restart of domestic football begins with a fixture against Newcastle United, with Steve Bruce's team making the trip to Merseyside to face the Reds at Anfield in the early kick-off on Saturday.
Interestingly, though, a formational switch may be on the horizon for the home side.
In recent weeks, Jurgen Klopp has expressed his desire to use certain players, stating that based on their training performances, they deserve opportunities that they haven't yet been given.
Adam Lallana was a player mentioned, as well as Joe Gomez, but most notably, Xherdan Shaqiri.
The Swiss made himself unavailable for international selection during the break in order to stake his claim for a spot in Klopp's first XI. That, combined with his suitability to the challenge at hand, may result in a temporary switch to 4-2-3-1 as a means of incorporating the 27 year-old attacker to face the Magpies.
Newcastle, despite the change in manager, remain a primarily defensive and cautious team. Bruce has retained plenty of the principles enforced by Rafa Benitez, by making his side difficult to break down, with an emphasis placed on counter-attacking.
After the initial lack of success using 5-3-2, Bruce switched to 5-4-1 to face Tottenham and won 1-0. He then kept that shape to play Watford, and the team drew 1-1.
Ultimately, it's highly likely that 5-4-1 will remain as Bruce's formation of choice for the trip to Anfield, and that will take some breaking down.
In addition, the Magpies are 19th in the division for ball possession, and they have completed only 14 passes within an estimated 20 yards from their opponent's goal, which again places them 19th. For context, Liverpool have completed 37.
The question posed to the Reds by Newcastle, undoubtedly, looks set to be - can you break us down?
Hence, opting for 4-2-3-1 would make plenty of sense, especially considering Liverpool are at home.
The formation offers less control, but more chaos in essence. This largely stems from the reduced presence in central areas, as the formation favours the selection of an additional attacker at the expense of a midfielder, resulting in more space in the middle for the ball to fall loose.
The last time Newcastle made the trip to Anfield, 4-2-3-1 was the formation of choice when the Reds ran out 4-0 winners, shown below.
Klopp seemed to value 4-2-3-1 last season when tasked with facing predominantly stubborn opposition, as more offensive quality seemed to prove useful. The Reds played 20 matches against the bottom ten last season, both home and away, winning all 20 and failing to drop a single point.
Shaqiri, when deployed by Klopp, tends to operate on the right side of the 4-2-3-1 shape, with Mohamed Salah then playing through the middle ahead of Roberto Firmino, who plays as a no.10 of sorts.
From that right-sided zone of the pitch, Shaqiri operates as his usual direct self, by taking plenty of risks in possession as a means of finding a key to the door. His passing network from last year's meeting with Newcastle is pictured below, with the number of passes he attempted into the box capturing his aggressive, forward-thinking intent.
As a consequence of the standard of opposition that Shaqiri is often fielded against, his risk-taking doesn't tend to hurt Liverpool, with opposing players lacking the quality to counter-attack effectively if the ball is lost.
Shaqiri scored when he faced Newcastle at Anfield last season, and also took five shots which was at least three more than his nearest teammate, with Mane hitting only two and Salah just one.
Moreover, it's worth noting that in the case of Newcastle, Liverpool scored two goals from set-pieces at St. James Park, as well as two at Anfield. Shaqiri's delivery from those situations is highly threatening, and if the Reds are planning a similar means of attack, then it's another aspect in which his profile appears suitable.
Overall, it remains to be seen whether Klopp will decide upon a change. However, based on the opposition and the challenge at hand, as well as the players at his disposal, a switch to 4-2-3-1 with Shaqiri included may be a smart move.