Klopp’s Picks: Predicting Liverpool’s Semi-Final Line-Up

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Predicting Liverpool’s Starting XI ahead of Carabao Cup Semi-Final Clash

Liverpool host Fulham at Anfield in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final on Wednesday night, but a long list of injuries could cause Jurgen Klopp a bit of a headache.

The Reds come into Wednesday’s game off the back of a hugely impressive 2-0 away victory over Arsenal in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Injury Concerns and Absences

Trent Alexander-Arnold joins the long list of absences alongside Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Wataru Endo, Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ben Doak and Mohamed Salah, whilst Virgil Van Dijk remains a doubt after missing Sunday’s game.

Either way, with just Fulham, Middlesbrough and Chelsea left in the competition, I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to go all the way in the Carabao Cup.

Today we’re going to be predicting Liverpool’s Starting XI ahead of Wednesday’s Semi-Final.

Jurgen’s Solid Defence

With Caoimhin Kelleher receiving a lot of game time in the first half of the season in both the Carabao Cup and Europa League, I actually expect Alisson Becker to continue in between the sticks for the Reds.

After an impressive cameo against Arsenal, Conor Bradley will come in for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.

Photo: IMAGO

Meaning Joe Gomez will be needed to go again at left-back due to Robertson and Tsimikas’ injuries.

Pep Ljinders hinted in his press conference that Virgil Van Dijk could return in time for Wednesday’s game, but either way I struggle to see the Dutchman being risked in this one.

Therefore, I expect to see Ibou Konate and Jarrell Quansah at the heart of Klopp’s defence after a world-class performance against Arsenal.

Verdict on Defence: Alisson, Bradley, Konate, Quansah, Gomez

Engine Room Options

With the absence of Wataru Endo, Alexis Mac Allister is the favourite to start at the base of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.

The last time Fulham visited Anfield saw Mac Allister score an absolute worldie and put in one of his strongest performances in a Liverpool shirt.

Ahead of Mac Allister, Ryan Gravenberch will likely start in this one after being named on the bench for the Arsenal game.

Photo by IMAGO

The Dutchman came off the bench to great effect in the second half and was crucial in getting the Reds up the pitch.

The final midfield slot will be between Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, who both started in the victory over Arsenal.

Elliott has featured more regularly on the right-hand side of Klopp’s midfield three, however Jones’ recent form means it’s hard to see him not starting at the moment.

Verdict on Midfield: Mac Allister, Jones, Gravenberch

No Salah, No Problem?

Liverpool began life without Mohamed Salah quite impressively at Arsenal, and Klopp will be hoping for more of the same over the upcoming weeks.

With Salah away for the African Cup of Nations, it’s a huge opportunity for the likes of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez to make themselves a key part of this side.

It’s hard to argue against the idea that Diogo Jota has been the key change in Liverpool’s last two victories over Newcastle United and Arsenal.

Therefore, I think Jota will start down the middle for Liverpool on Wednesday and will hopefully fill the goalscoring boots of Mo Salah.

Darwin Nunez looked much better coming from the left-hand side against Arsenal and in the Quarter-Final demolition of West Ham United and will therefore start in that position on Wednesday.

On the other flank, I expect to see Luis Diaz start on the right-hand side where he managed to grab a crucial goal on Sunday.

Klopp will still have options like Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott to utilise from the bench, too.

Verdict on Forward Line: Diaz, Jota, Nunez

Ben Pescod’s Predicted LFC Line-Up

Starting XI: Alisson, Bradley, Konate, Quansah, Gomez, Mac Allister, Jones, Gravenberch, Diaz, Jota, Nunez

Bench: Kelleher, Van Dijk, Phillips, Chambers, McConnell, Clark, Elliott, Gakpo, Gordon

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  1. There is still the need to enter the transfer market – instead, LFC will start losing games later in the season due to yet more injuries, and all because FSG prefer to invest 3billion into golf.


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