Predicting Klopp’s Starting XI Ahead of Bournemouth Cup Clash

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The Defence

After another solid performance from Alisson Becker at the weekend, I expect Caoimhin Kelleher to return in between the sticks. The Irishman will certainly be looking to put in a more sturdy performance than his last one, in the 5-1 victory over Toulouse in the Europa League.

At right-back, after featuring in all of Liverpool’s three games since the international break, Trent Alexander-Arnold will undoubtedly sit this one out. Joe Gomez will be the favoured choice to replace the vice-captain, however, we have also seen Curtis Jones play the inverted role against Leicester City in the previous round.

At the heart of the defence, Joel Matip is likely to start after a brilliant performance against Toulouse last week. Despite a run of brilliant performances from Jarrell Quansah, I think Ibou Konate will go again alongside Matip. Finally, Jurgen Klopp will be keen not to risk Kostas Tsimikas with Andy Robertson already facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines. After making his senior debut last week, Luke Chambers could be set to start for the second time in six days for the Reds.

Verdict: Kelleher, Gomez, Konate, Matip, Chambers

The Midfield

With both players putting in Player of the Match worthy performances last week, both Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch are expected to start this one. After missing the Nottingham Forest game due to suspension, Curtis Jones will come into the midfield alongside them. This would likely line up the same as last week, with Endo at the base, with Gravenberch to his left and Jones to his right. Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister are both expected to be rested, but still be an option from the bench if needed.

Verdict: Endo, Jones, Gravenberch

The Attack

Given the availability issues with Luis Diaz, Klopp may be forced to be a bit more pragmatic in his approach with the front line. Initially, I would have had Salah starting this game on the right-hand side, but instead Harvey Elliott will likely earn a place in the front line. Darwin Nunez will likely be rested ahead of the weekend’s clash with Luton Town, after a couple of fantastic performances. Therefore, I think that Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota will partner Elliott in the front three. Since returning from injury, I think Gakpo has looked incredibly sharp in his appearances from the bench and he will be looking to earn his place back in the starting lineup in the near future.

Verdict: Elliott, Gakpo, Jota.

Starting XI: Kelleher, Gomez, Konate, Matip, Chambers, Endo, Jones, Gravenberch, Elliott, Gakpo, Jota. Bench: Alisson, Van Dijk, Quansah, Tsimikas, Alexander-Arnold, Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Nunez, Salah.

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