4-2-3-1 with No Benteke, while Firmino to start: Predicted Liverpool line-up vs Stoke in League Cup Semi Final
In their 3rd consecutive away fixture in the busy schedule for Jurgen Klopp, his team will travel to Stoke City to face a Mark Hughes side that have been playing some good football off late. The Reds are coming into this game off a disappointing 2-0 loss to the Hammers but the biggest problem for them will the selection of the team in the midst of all the injuries to the squad.
Injuries to Skipper Jordan Henderson, defender Martin Skertel, midfielder James Milner and striker Divock Origi leave Liverpool a little weak for this trip to the Britannia. Danny Ings and Joe Gomez are already ruled out for the season while Jon Flannagan and star striker Daniel Sturridge are close to recovery but will not be risked in this game. Here is the potential line-up for Liverpool that could face the Potters in the League Cup Semi-final:
After two consecutive clean sheets, Mignolet let two in against the Hammers and a game off will serve him well for the upcoming fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City. Adam Bogdan will get his chance to impress.
Nathaniel Clyne has not had enough rest in the busy festive season and this might be a time for him to make way for Randall at the back who was not too bad in his previous appearance.
Lovren has improved tremendously so much so that he will be at the heart of the defense for Liverpool in an important Semi-final against Stoke City.
The French international was solid at the back before injury and will hope to regain his form when he faces the Potters on Tuesday.
The young Spaniard was off after 60 minutes in the game against West Ham and will be slotted into his left back spot for the trip to Britannia.
The Brazilian provides a much needed stability in the middle and will hope to frustrate the mid-field of Stoke and deprive them of any chances on the night.
Allen has not really had a chance to impress the new manager but will get his chance on Tuesday with injuries to a number of mid-field players.
The young winger did not do much against the Hammers but will hope to use his pace to get behind the back four to create some chances for his side.
Lallana was dropped to the bench in the loss to the Hammers and played only upto 20 minutes on the night. He will be fresh and raring to go against Stoke City in the semi-final.
Apart from a few cameos, Firmino is yet to get a grip on the English way of football and will hope to make an impression against Stoke City in an important encounter.
With Benteke not providing enough of a threat to the defenses, Klopp might look to play a false 9 system with Firmino, Coutinho and Lallana exchanging places and creating chances for each other.
However, the manager told the press that the cup run is a target for the season and might play a full strength squad brining Mignolet, Clyne, Can and Benteke into the picture to try and get an early advantage in the two legged cup encounter. This is how he may try and take a result from this game:
Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Can, Lucas; Coutinho, Lallana, Ibe; Benteke
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