Liverpool are back in action tomorrow night when they welcome Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves side to Anfield for an 8pm (GMT) kickoff. The Reds are aiming to progress to the fourth round as the defence of their FA Cup trophy begins. Here’s the predicted lineup for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

Jürgen Klopp in his pre-match press conference confirmed Virgil Van Dijk is now out for over a month with the hamstring injury he sustained against Brentford. Skipper Jordan Henderson is however back after suffering a concussion.

New signing Cody Gakpo has trained with his new teammates for two days and is looking sharp according to the gaffer. He could be part of a strong starting XI, with Jürgen confirming he will go strong due to how the scheduling has worked out.

The Reds will enjoy a full week between games from now till the middle of next month. This should allow for more time on the training pitch (although cynics may say the Reds didn’t show much improvement following their training camp in Dubai).

It should at least see the load lightened on a squad that is already stretched thin. The only real head scratcher the manager faces in picking a lineup for tomorrow is who starts in goal. Kelleher deserves all the minutes in both Cup competitions but Alisson was preferred in the FA Cup last season.

Despite the Reds exiting the EFL Cup early this campaign, the manager has insisted Alisson is his pick for the FA Cup. The Brazilian has been overworked this campaign (he’s already equalled his total number of Premier League saves from the title winning season) but will be hoping for a first clean sheet in six games.

In defence, we can expect Alexander-Arnold and Robertson to start at full back. With Van Dijk now out for a while, Matip and Konaté will likely be handed another opportunity to work on their fledgling partnership. 

In midfield, the first choice trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago will in all likelihood start together. There isn’t a lot of alternatives to be honest. Keita has had a few bright cameos lately but was not pictured in training yesterday whilst Elliott needs time out of the firing line.

Curtis Jones just returned from injury and Milner seems to have yet to shake off his own injury. Stefan Bajcetic would have had this match pencilled in his diary as an opportunity to get another start under his belt but with the manager going strong, he can only hope for minutes off the bench.

Upfront, there is the tantalising prospect of watching Salah, Darwin and Gakpo start together for the very first time. With Jota and Diaz still some way off a return and Bobby Firmino still to resume training, this new trio could be the way forward for the next few weeks at least.

The manager was coy when pressed on Gakpo’s involvement from the start but I’m pretty sure he won’t be able to resist starting this new trio together despite the Dutch international only having a handful of training sessions under his belt.

It certainly beats the prospect of watching Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left wing once again that’s for sure.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konaté, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Darwin, Gakpo.

Subs: Kelleher, Ramsay, Gomez, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carvalho, Elliott.



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