After an exhilarating victory over Champions-elect Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final at Anfield, Liverpool have the small matter of a Merseyside derby just days before the second leg at Etihad. The Reds travel across Stanley Park to Goodison to take on an Everton side, that has very little to play for this season. The Blues have lost three of their last six games in the league and are fresh from a 3-1 loss to Manchester City but they will believe that they can take more than a point against a Liverpool side distracted by the European tie.
Jurgen Klopp’s men beat Crystal Palace in the last round and though they have a 3-0 advantage in the QF tie against City, they are still 12 points away from sealing a place in Europe next season and will settle for nothing less than three points. Klopp will want to rest a few of his key players but will still field a side that can fight for a result and here is the predicted lineup Liverpool might play in this Merseyside derby:
In early team news, Liverpool will be without Adam Lallana, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, all of who are out for at least another month, along with Ragnar Klavan and Ben Woodburn, who lack match fitness at the moment. Nathaniel Clyne is in the line to start his first game this season while Mohamed Salah and Emre Can will undergo late fitness tests just before the game.
Expected lineup (4-3-1-2):
Loris Karius had a comfortable night against Manchester City and will hope to have a similar outing in his first derby. Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren are the best options for Liverpool at the back and Klopp has to stick with them for this weekend.
Trent Alexandre-Arnold will be rested, giving Clyne his first taste of action back from injury while Andrew Robertson can also be rested, giving Alberto Moreno a rare first team start since the turn of the year.
Jordan Henderson ran himself out against City and should be rested. But with Can absent, Liverpool have very few options and might have to use Georginio Wijnaldum along with James Milner in the middle of the park.
With the squad wafer thin, Klopp has to stick with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to complete his midfield.
Roberto Firmino was withdrawn early in the Champions League tie and could start but in a no.10 role. Dominic Solanke, who played the last 20’ in that game could start alongside Danny Ings in a strike partnership up front.
Here is how they might line up: