Liverpool’s Carabao Cup Semi-Final Strategy
Heading to Craven Cottage: Liverpool’s Advantage in the Second Leg
Liverpool take a 2-1 lead over Fulham into the second leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final as they travel to Craven Cottage on Wednesday night.
Injury Woes: The Growing List of Doubtful Players
Curtis Jones became the latest to join a long list of doubts after picking up a knock on Sunday. That long lists includes Andy Robertson, Joel Matip, Kostas Tsimikas, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Wataru Endo, Stefan Bajcetic, Thiago Alcantara, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ben Doak and Mohamed Salah. Jurgen Klopp will certainly have a few key decisions to make ahead of Wednesday’s game. But the FA Cup Fourth Round game against Norwich on Sunday does allow a chance for rotation.
The Best Defence in the League: Liverpool’s Formidable Back Line
Jurgen Klopp’s side currently boasts the best defence in the Premier League, despite having a number of serious injuries in the back line. Although Caoimhin Kelleher has typically been Klopp’s cup-keeper, in my opinion Alisson starts this one. Kelleher will instead be given a chance in the FA Cup game against Norwich on Sunday. Conor Bradley will likely go again at right-back after a run of impressive games in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold. On the opposite side, Joe Gomez will play once again before finally being rested at the weekend. After a world-class performance on Sunday, Virgil Van Dijk and Ibou Konate will partner each other once again. Verdict: Alisson, Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez
Bare Bones in the Midfield: Navigating Through Key Absences
With Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara, Stefan Bajcetic, Wataru Endo and Dominik Szoboszlai all potentially absent, Klopp may not have much choice. Alexis Mac Allister is nailed on to start at the base once again, whilst Harvey Elliott will likely keep his place in midfield. Klopp will likely be forced into one change, with Ryan Gravenberch getting a chance in the absence of Jones. On the bench, youngsters Bobby Clark and James McConnell will likely be the only avaiable options. Verdict: Mac Allister, Elliott, Gravenberch
The Front Line: Maintaining the Momentum
After incredible performances on Sunday, both Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota will definitely keep their places in the front three. Cody Gakpo could come in for Luis Diaz on the right-wing, which worked briliantly in the second half of the first leg at Anfield. Diaz will provide a solid option from the bench, alongside Kaide Gordon who received a few minutes on Sunday, too. Verdict: Gakpo, Jota, Nunez
Predicted Line-up: Klopp’s Choices for the Big Game
Starting XI: Alisson, Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez, Mac Allister, Elliott, Gravenberch, Gakpo, Jota, Nunez
Bench: Kelleher, Adrian, Quansah, Beck, McConnell, Clark, Nyoni, Gordon, Diaz