Liverpool travel to the capital as they face Fulham on January 24. Craven Cottage is the venue of the EFL Cup semi-final tie, as the Reds head into this second-leg 2-1 up on aggregate. The victor will face Chelsea in the final, following their emphatic victory over Middlesbrough last night. This is our Liverpool predicted lineup.
Alisson Becker starts in goal, with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate forming one of the strongest centre-back partnerships in the league. Joe Gomez has started at left-back recently, due to injuries, whilst Conor Bradley has played in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s absence.
Alexis Mac Allister plays as a deep-lying midfielder, with Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones starting recently amidst absences. Ryan Gravenberch has also featured, but Jurgen Klopp seems to prefer his English youngsters.
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Liverpool’s front three has seen many variations: Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo, and even Elliott have all rotated. Diaz has seen minutes on both wings, whilst Nunez has played both centrally and wide.
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Liverpool’s Recent Form and Tactics
Liverpool eased past Bournemouth in the Premier League, with an impressive 4-0 victory.
Nunez bagged two goals for his second brace of the season. This is reassuring as finishing chances has not been his strong point, missing the most big chances in the league (18).
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Bournemouth’s defence looked stretched, especially as Klopp’s front three were constantly switching positions. Diaz, Nunez, and Jota could all be seen alternating flanks – creating space in between the centre-backs as they struggled to track the runners.
This can be seen for Nunez’s first goal, as he slips between the defenders for Jota to find him in plenty of space. Prolific finishing from both Nunez and Jota converted Liverpool’s dominance into goals, which they have struggled with up until now.
With Mohamed Salah out, this can only be seen as good news for the Merseyside outfit.
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However, the sides did go into the break at 0-0, without much to show for the 45 minutes they had just played. Neither team had a memorable chance in the first half.
Andoni Iraola’s defence seemed to have the visitors stumped, with no shots from inside the box and just 0.09 expected goals. Liverpool’s tendency to start games slowly is worrying in a title race with the almost faultless Manchester City.
Liverpool Injuries to Consider vs Fulham
Assistant manager Pep Lijnders took press conference duty, and revealed important injury news.
A huge boost is the return of Andy Robertson. The Scotsman “will travel” to Fulham but still “has to get fit with proper team training”. It is unclear whether the “incredible” left-back is ready to start yet.
His fellow left-back, Kostas Tsimikas, “needs probably two more weeks before he goes into first-team training”. Alexander-Arnold is “progressing well” and “he will hopefully be available for the FA Cup” but the Fulham game will come too early.
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Similarly, Dominik Szoboszlai “trained yesterday with us” but “tomorrow comes too early for him, so he will be ready for the weekend”. Lijnders did confirm that Jones is fit after being substituted at Bournemouth with a minor issue.
Salah suffered a “proper tear in his hamstring” at the African Cup of Nations, and he is expected to return in “three to four weeks”. Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic will “not be ready for the end of this month”. Joel Matip is out for the season following surgery. Wataru Endo is away with Japan at the Asian Cup in Qatar.
Liverpool Predicted Lineup
GK: Caoimhin Kelleher
LB: Joe Gomez
CB: Virgil van Dijk
CB: Ibrahima Konate
RB: Conor Bradley
CM: Curtis Jones
DM: Alexis Mac Allister
CM: Ryan Gravenberch
LW: Diogo Jota
ST: Cody Gakpo
RW: Harvey Elliott