Liverpool’s FA Cup defence begins on Saturday evening when Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves visit Anfield for a third-round encounter.
The Reds lifted the FA Cup trophy in May when they beat Chelsea on penalties in the final at the Wembley Stadium. They enter the clash on the back of an embarrassing 3-1 loss to Brentford in the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp would have been hugely disappointed with the manner in which his team lost at Brentford. In a quick turnaround time between games, the FA Cup tie with Wolves represents the perfect opportunity for Klopp’s troops to show a response.
Liverpool Team News
New Liverpool signing Cody Gakpo could come into contention against Wolves after the formalities of his transfer from PSV Eindhoven were completed on Tuesday.
Gakpo was spotted in training along with Jordan Henderson, who missed the Brentford game earlier this week, but there were no signs of James Milner and Roberto Firmino. Naby Keita was also missing, which appears that the Guinean midfielder may once again be an injury doubt.
Meanwhile, the Reds have been dealt with a big blow as Virgil van Dijk is now confirmed to be nursing a hamstring injury after being substituted at half-time against Brentford.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup vs Wolves (4-3-3)
Caoimhin Kelleher has been Liverpool’s cup goalkeeper in recent years and should be given a start against Wolves. Reliable and composed with the ball at his feet, the Irishman will look to repay Klopp’s faith in him with a strong performance.
Losing Virgil van Dijk for weeks to a hamstring injury is a big blow for Liverpool, which should force Klopp to make alterations to his already struggling backline. Joel Matip replaced Van Dijk at half-time against Brentford and is expected to start alongside Ibrahima Konate at the heart of the Liverpool defence on Saturday evening.
Trent Alexander-Arnold should retain his spot at right-back, while Andy Robertson is certain to get the nod over Kostas Tsimikas at left-back.
Fabinho is a regular fixture in the Reds’ midfield, and his positional awareness, reading of the game and passing ability will be key in helping the team take control of the game at the earliest against Wolves. Jordan Henderson has recovered from concussion and should start, while Klopp could hand Stefan Bajcetic another opportunity to impress.
Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliot will wait for their opportunities on the bench as they look to make an impact when called upon.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has started the last three games for Liverpool and scored in the 3-1 defeat to Brentford last time out. With the Englishman managing to get back to some rhythm, Klopp is expected to stick with him on the left flank.
Mohamed Salah is a certainty down the right wing, with Darwin Nunez going through the middle once again. New signing Cody Gakpo should be an option on the bench, and the Dutchman will hope to give Klopp’s side some-much needed flair and energy if called upon in the second half against Wolves.