Liverpool host Arsenal tomorrow night in the first leg of the League Cup semi final. With a chance to reach a first final since the Club World Cup final two years ago, we expect Jürgen Klopp to go with a strong side. We predict the team he’s likely to line up with.

For a match preview, you can head here:

Jürgen Klopp revealed in his pre match press conference that everyone bar Elliott, Phillips, Thiago and Origi was in training. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker returned to training yesterday after recovering from Covid.

This is a boost after a week that saw a Covid outbreak at the club lead to the postponement of the original first leg. The manager missed the Chelsea game as a result, before assistant Pep Ljinders also missed Sunday’s win over Shrewsbury. It seems things are now under control, till the next time at least.

The team tomorrow should be a strong one. Brentford are the next visitors to Anfield on Sunday and seeing as they played Southampton last night, there isn’t as much argument to rest players ahead of that game. In goal will be Caoimhin Kelleher.

The Irishman has stood in well in Alisson’s abscence and should be rewarded with another start here. Alisson hasn’t played since the defeat to Leicester on the 28th of last month though, so that may see him handed a start. I’m going with Caoimhin as he’s been the designated Cup keeper and has impressed.

Ahead of him, Neco Williams could start at right back with Trent just recovering from Covid. Neco has played well whenever he’s gotten a chance this season and he’ll be intent on keeping up the levels he’s set so far. Kostas Tsimikas should line up on the opposite flank.

Robertson is said to be ‘fine’ after picking up a late knock on Sunday but may not be risked. At centre back, Joe Gomez badly needs minutes. I think he’ll get a game here alongside Joel Matip who was an unused substitute against Shrewsbury.

In midfield, Fabinho played the full game against Shrewsbury as he netted a rare brace. It’s not often the Brazilian plays in the Cup competitions but you can’t help but feel he’ll start in this one too. He’s our best option in that DM role and he’ll be needed to nip Arsenal’s counter attacks in the bud.

To the right of him could be skipper Jordan Henderson whilst to the left could well be Curtis Jones who marked his return from an extended layoff with a solid performance on Sunday. The young Scouser has been out for weeks with an eye injury and subsequently Covid.

Curtis Jones could be in line for another start

It’s good to see him back fit, especially with Naby Keita leaving numbers short in midfield as he represents Guinea at the ongoing AFCON. James Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain offer further alternatives.

In the final third, we saw Kaide Gordon become the second youngest goalscorer in Liverpool history on Sunday after a well taken goal against the League One side. Arsenal in the semi final is probably a step too far to expect the 17 year old to start.

We should see more senior options in here, with Firmino and Minamino shoo ins after lively cameos on Sunday. Diogo Jota will also likely line up alongside them, taking his place on the right wing. This is the first big test in the absence of Mané and Salah so it should be eye opening to see how we fare.

It’s a big Cup tie against a big side. The home fans will as usual have a role to play in cheering on the side not only to victory, but to a big enough advantage to take away to the Emirates next week. Chelsea await in the final next month after seeing off Spurs 3-0 on aggregate.

Predicted team:

Kelleher, Williams, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Jota, Firmino, Minamino.

Subs: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Morton, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gordon.


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