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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Ian Doyle & Paul Gorst & Theo Squires

Liverpool line-ups as Naby Keita and Ben Doak decisions made for Wolves FA Cup replay

Paul Gorst: Another Liverpool game means another midfield headache for Jurgen Klopp. And let’s not forget the problems up front too with injured personnel.

At least the defence is fine. Well, apart from an injured Virgil van Dijk of course…

It’s a little like that for the manager right now; when it rains, it pours, but can this unwanted FA Cup replay spark something back into the Reds’ season?

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With Chelsea to come on Saturday lunchtime for a first Premier League game of 2023 at Anfield, Klopp may rest and rotate at Molineux this evening. As much as he can at least given the list of absentees.

Naby Keita makes his first start of the season alongside James Milner and Stefan Bajcetic, while Curtis Jones can deputise on the left of the front three in place of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Matip, Robertson; Milner, Bajcetic, Keita; Salah, Gakpo, Jones.

Ian Doyle: Liverpool were so unremittingly bad against Brighton at the weekend that it's very tempting to field a completely different XI at Wolverhampton Wanderers in their FA Cup third round replay this evening.

So let's do it!

In goal is Caoimhin Kelleher, even if this isn't his competition. James Milner can come in at right-back, with Kostas Tsimikas on the other side of the defence and Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips in the centre-back roles.

Teenager Stefan Bajcetic can anchor the midfield, although I'd suggest Liverpool go more for a 4-5-1 than a 4-3-3 just to keep things a little more steady. The other two central midfielders can be Naby Keita to the left of Bajcetic and Harvey Elliott to the right.

On the left wing, Curtis Jones can reprise his position as a youth player, with the exciting Ben Doak given a first start on the right and Fabio Carvalho acting as a false nine.

No matter what that team does, it would surely be better than the side that performed on the South Coast on Saturday. None can complain at being dropped.

My team (4-5-1): Kelleher; Milner, Phillips, Gomez, Tsimikas; Doak, Elliott, Bajcetic, Keita, Jones; Carvalho.

Theo Squires: Jurgen Klopp might have named his strongest available XI for the original tie against Wolves but, with Chelsea next up, it would be a surprise if Liverpool don’t make changes at Molineux.

Given their woeful form in recent weeks, who knows, maybe springing the changes could see a couple of players stake genuine claims to be starters going forward?

Anyway, Alisson’s the FA Cup keeper so he starts in goal. Trent Alexander-Arnold keeps his place, but it’s all change across the rest of the back four with Kostas Tsimikas starting at left-back and Joe Gomez partnered by Nat Phillips.

Stefan Bajcetic and James Milner are supposedly back fit so both of them can start, with Naby Keita handed a long-awaited first start of the season alongside them.

Meanwhile, Ben Doak can make his first start for Liverpool in his preferred right-wing position, with Cody Gakpo having to go again down the middle and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain completing the XI.

My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Phillips, Tsimikas; Keita, Bajcetic, Milner; Doak, Gakpo, Oxlade-Chamberlain.


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