Liverpool will be bidding to punch their ticket to the Wembley Stadium as they travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening.
The Reds hold a slender 2-1 advantage from the first leg at Anfield a fortnight ago thanks to quickfire second-half goals from Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo. They returned to Premier League action on Sunday after a mini break and smashed Bournemouth 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium, stretching their lead at the top of the table to five points.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are in red-hot form at the moment, and despite so many injuries, will be favourites on paper against Fulham.
Liverpool Team News
Curtis Jones was withdrawn in the second half against Bournemouth with a slight hamstring problem and could be touch-and-go for the game at Craven Cottage.
Dominik Szoboszlai has sat out three games with a hamstring injury but Jurgen Klopp is hopeful the player could face Fulham on Wednesday evening. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are close to returning to full fitness but will miss the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
Wataru Endo is representing Japan at the Asian Cup, but Mohamed Salah will return to England after suffering a hamstring injury with Egypt last week. Meanwhile, Kostas Tsimikas (collarbone), Thiago (hip), Joel Matip (ACL), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Ben Doak (MCL) are Liverpool’s other absentees.
Predicted Liverpool lineup vs Fulham (4-3-3)
Caoimhin Kelleher will don the gloves in midweek after starting the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield. He must produce a strong performance to help Liverpool beat Fulham and qualify for the final.
Jurgen Klopp is likely to retain the 4-3-3 formation, with Conor Bradley, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez forming the backline for the visitors.
Bradley has impressed in the last two games in the injury absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and should retain his spot at right-back, while Gomez continues at left-back. Van Dijk and Konate must be focused and disciplined throughout the game to help the Reds keep a clean sheet at Craven Cottage.
Alexis Mac Allister will hold the fort in the middle of the park for Liverpool, with the Argentinean World Cup winner tasked with controlling the game’s flow. He could be joined by Harvey Elliot and Ryan Gravenberch in the engine room, with Klopp unlikely to risk Curtis Jones from the start after the midfielder came off with a slight hamstring problem against Bournemouth on Sunday.
The trio of Mac Allister, Gravenberch and Elliot will look to dominate possession and prohibit Fulham from playing their natural game.
Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota scored a brace each to help Liverpool beat Bournemouth at the weekend, so they appear as sure-fire starters against Fulham. The right-wing spot could be occupied by Luis Diaz again, with Cody Gakpo hoping to make an impact off the bench, as he did in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield.