For us, there’d be no point in Jurgen Klopp selecting a strong side in the first-leg of the League Cup semi-final versus Stoke if he wasn’t going to do it again this evening at Anfield.
As a result, we predict Klopp will ring the changes for the FA Cup home tie with West Ham after Stoke, but pick a side which resembles his strongest one tonight.
That means Simon Mignolet in goal, as Adam Bogdan’s recent performances mean he doesn’t even warrant starting in cup games.
Klopp confirmed (via the Echo) that Nathaniel Clyne picked up a knock during the Norwich win and Jon Flanagan is ready to come and replace him, while stating that he’d likely pick Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure at the heart of defence as well.
Brad Smith will be busting for another opportunity at left-back, but the promising Aussie is more likely to play the FA Cup match.
In midfield, we think Klopp will bring Joe Allen in, allowing Lucas a rest. The Welshman’s scored two in two and was Man of the Match in the first-leg, so will be keen to continue proving himself under the German boss.
Allen’s almost developing into a cult-hero under Klopp, and we reckon he deserves another chance to prove his mettle. He’s more creative than Lucas, so at home, we’d like to see him selected – with Emre Can and Jordan Henderson making up the midfield trio.
Following his superb cameo against Norwich, we think Adam Lallana will get the nod out wide. At the weekend he assisted Firmino’s second and bagged the injury-time winner, finally producing the end product Liverpool fans have been crying out for.
James Milner deserves a start on the right after a strong showing at Carrow Road, meaning Jordon Ibe can provide inspiration as an impact sub.
We’d like to see in-form Roberto Firmino continue up top, with Christian Benteke providing a bench option. The Belgian will likely play the FA Cup fixture instead.