ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi final. The Reds are coming off the back of a 3-0 win over Brentford whilst Arsenal haven’t played since the first leg, after their North London derby against Spurs was postponed. Here’s how we think Jürgen Klopp will line up.
For a match preview, you can head here:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out after he picked up an ankle injury on Sunday, while it is unlikely Harvey Elliott will be involved after returning to training yesterday. With there being a good gap between Sunday and Thursday, we expect another strong lineup.
Akin to the XI that started the first leg as Jürgen went strong. To that effect, Alisson Becker should continue in goal. He started the first leg in what was his first ever appearance in the competition since joining Liverpool in 2018.
His selection last week put to bed any conversations around Kelleher keeping his place even if the Reds reach the final at Wembley. Alisson has kept back to back clean sheets and will be looking for a third successive one tomorrow night as he aims towards a first ever domestic Cup final in England.
The back four should also stay the same, with no real need for rotation. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will take up the full back positions whilst Matip and Van Dijk continue their partnership in the heart of defence. A clean sheet on the night will make the job of qualification that much easier and that will be the aim.
Gomez, Konaté, Tsimikas and the other fringe players will have to keep biding their time, with Cardiff in the FA Cup a game where they’ll be guaranteed starts. No chances can be taken tomorrow, with the League Cup a very realistic shot at a trophy with the PL almost already gone.
There’s not a lot of room for manouvre in midfield. Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita and Elliott are all unavailable for tomorrow night, leaving just four senior options in Fabinho, Henderson, Milner and Jones.
I highly doubt Jürgen will start Fabinho, Henderson and Milner together again so soon after their disappointing performance together at Stamford Bridge and in the first leg against Arsenal. Curtis Jones has returned from a long layoff and played well in the last three games.
He simply has to maintain his place in the side ahead of veteran James Milner who turned 36 a week or so ago. That means it’s the same midfield trio we saw at the weekend, along with the same back five. In fact the only change to the XI that took on Brentford will be in attack.
Takumi Minamino coming in for the stricken Oxlade-Chamberlain being the only predicted change. The trio of Jota, Bobby and Minamino didn’t sparkle in the first leg but will get another chance tomorrow night. The only concern is getting Jota into the areas he thrives in.
I’m not sure playing him on the right wing suits him, and he wasn’t great on the left wing against Brentford either. He’s at his best in and around the box, not stuck out wide running at fullbacks. If Klopp and his coaches can work out a way to get him to do that with Firmino and Minamino on the pitch, that’ll be great.
It’s a puzzle that the manager and his coaching staff will surely be working on solving. Whether that is a formation change to a 4-4-2 diamond with Minamino and Jota pairing up in attack and Bobby playing at the tip of the diamond, or a 4-2-3-1 with Bobby behind Jota, and Jones and Minamino occupying the wings, remains to be seen.
Whichever team takes out to the pitch, regardless of the system, will have one simple goal. Beat Arsenal and qualify for the final.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Minamino, Firmino, Jota.
Subs: Kelleher, Williams, Konaté, Gomez, Tsimikas, Morton, Milner, Dixon-Bonner, Gordon.
One thought on “ARSENAL VS LIVERPOOL: PREDICTED LINEUP”
I think Jones should come out from his shell and prove he got what it takes to be a next generation Liverpool midfielder, he has his good days, but he needs consistency and quick decision making.
Liverpool shouldn’t expect a weak Arsenal side tonight, we should give it all it takes.
LikeLiked by 1 person