Jurgen Klopp has suggested he could name a stronger starting team as Liverpool look to see off Plymouth Argyle at the second time of asking in the FA Cup on Wednesday night.
The unrelenting fixture schedule continues for the Reds, who attempt to overcome the Pilgrims in a third-round replay that is already their fifth game of 2017.
Klopp’s men were held to a frustrating goalless draw by the League Two club at Anfield, and a more professional display will be required as Derek Adams’ side look to use Home Park advantage to cause a cup shock.
Klopp fielded Liverpool’s youngest ever starting XI in the Anfield meeting, but having said “probably it will be different to the team we had in the first game”, a more experienced side could be named in attempt to ensure the Reds reach round four.
- Klopp could field “different” team but mix of youth and senior players to take part
- Lucas Leiva doubtful with knee injury
- Nathaniel Clyne to miss out but “big chance” of returning for Swansea on Saturday
- Klopp to decide whether to risk Joel Matip with Liverpool yet to receive assurance over defender’s eligibility
- First-teamers Dejan Lovren, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum & Philippe Coutinho could be involved
- Daniel Sturridge set to start after watching from the bench at Old Trafford
- Klopp confirms Loris Karius to return for cup tie
- Joe Gomez poised for second start as centre-back continues injury comeback
- Alberto Moreno and Trent Alexander-Arnold primed for full-back berths
- Kevin Stewart and Ovie Ejaria hopeful of midfield outings
- Sheyi Ojo and Ben Woodburn attacking options with Harry Wilson also in contention
Liverpool’s XI vs. The Pilgrims
Klopp’s words that the Reds will “probably” be a “different team” in Devon suggests a stronger side featuring more senior players could be named.
With Liverpool imminently facing a big week of Premier League and League Cup action, Klopp will want a more straightforward game at Home Park and a more experienced side could ensure that proves the case.
Within this, Matip could enter into a strong defence alongside Alexander-Arnold, Gomez and Moreno, if Klopp – who assessed Wednesday’s clash “the perfect game for him” – risks fielding the centre-back with Liverpool no clearer over his eligibility.
A more experienced midfield could see Henderson and Wijnaldum deployed with Ejaria, and Klopp could follow a similar route of youth supporting experience in attack.
Ojo could provide the youthful exuberance on the right side as at Anfield, but Coutinho – who is searching to improve his match fitness – could start on the left, with Sturridge leading the line, like so:
This would be a positive move for numerous reasons as outlined by Jack lusby, but none more so than for presenting Anfield’s upcoming talent with another valuable first-team outing.
The Reds defence won’t see too much alteration with options picking themselves, but if Klopp opts against risking Matip, and Lucas misses out with injury, Lovren could join Gomez at centre-back.
A more youthful centre could see Stewart, who would return to his holding role, and Ejaria joined by Wijnaldum.
Meanwhile in attack, Klopp could present young duo, Ojo and Woodburn, another chance to shine – keeping Wilson in reserve – while flanking the fresh and eager to impress, Sturridge.
A more experimental XI could look like this:
A more testing game than at Anfield awaits on Plymouth’s hometurf, and the Reds must produce a confident display to ensure it is they who book a fourth-round date with Championship side, Wolves.