LIVERPOOL VS NORWICH CITY: PREDICTED LINEUP
Liverpool turn their attentions to the FA Cup tonight, three days after clinching their ninth League Cup title. Norwich City are once again the opponents at Anfield, with a place in the quarter finals up for grabs. We look at how Liverpool will line up.
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Roberto Firmino (adductor) and Thiago Alcantara (hamstring) are both ruled out, whilst there is sure to be rotation after the gruelling final on Sunday night. Wholesale changes are to be expected, as Jürgen Klopp freshens his side up for the threat Norwich will pose.
With West Ham and Inter Milan to visit Anfield in the next six days, the manager is more than justified to rest a handful of players. The five outfielders that completed 120 minutes in the final will all likely be left out of the squad altogether.
Trent, Van Dijk, Robbo, Fabinho and Salah are therefore likely to be given the night off. As are Joel Matip and Luis Diaz who were taken off after 90 and 97 minutes respectively. The squad depth has been praised in recent times and will be tested tonight.
In goal, Alisson Becker could come back in after sitting out of the final. The gaffer has already confirmed Kelleher won’t start after his heroics at the weekend. A case could be made for Adrian but Alisson missing out again would mean he’d come into the West Ham game having not played for ten days.
In defence, we should see a completely new back four. Conor Bradley is likely to come in at right back, with Tsimikas lining up on the left. Joe Gomez and Ibou Konaté will then form the centre back partnership.
Gomez was left out of the squad for the Cup final and will view tonight as an opportunity to get another 90 minutes under his belt after his outing against Norwich two weeks ago. Ibou on the other hand came on for extra time on Sunday and even got to take a penalty in the shootout.
In the middle of the park, Henderson and Naby Keita will likely make do with a place on the bench having played almost 80 minutes on Sunday. With Thiago ruled out of the upcoming games against West Ham and possibly Inter Milan, the manager will have to juggle his midfield options delicately.
Milner could come in from the start tonight, lining up in the holding role. Either side of him will then be Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones. Both are in need of minutes having dropped down the pecking order in recent weeks.
Upfront, we should see Minamino and Origi get their first starts in a while, with Taki playing off the left and Divock leading the line. On the right wing, it’s likely to be Harvey Elliott, with the youngster absolutely buzzing after events on Sunday.
He went from not making the matchday squad to coming on for the last 40 minutes of the encounter and converting an emphatic penalty in the shootout. He’s played in midfield this season but this could be an opportunity to see him in attack.
Diogo Jota will have to make do with a place on the bench again. The Portuguese international didn’t complete a full training session with the first team in the days leading up to the final but managed to make the bench and play a part in the win.
Mané is also likely to start from the bench. With Bobby still not available, the gaffer will have to protect his star forwards as much as possible over this hectic period. Youngsters Tyler Morton, Kaide Gordon and Owen Beck could all make the squad tonight.
Alisson, Bradley, Gomez, Konaté, Tsimikas, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Elliott, Origi, Minamino.
Subs: Kelleher, R. Williams, Beck, Morton, Henderson, Keita, Gordon, Mané, Jota.