Jurgen Klopp was in need of a healthy midfield selection dilemma and now he has one.
The Liverpool boss faces one of the tough managerial tasks in the Premier League by conjuring an approach to combat Mauricio Pochettino’s versatile and somewhat unpredictable Tottenham team.
Wembley seems a fitting stage for what promises to be an intense contest between two sides equipped to produce a goal-fest.
The midfield battle
After shining in Tuesday’s 7-0 win over NK Maribor, James Milner has staked a strong claim to retain his place in the starting lineup.
The midweek win saw the 31-year-old handed a rare start in place of captain Jordan Henderson, who was rested after his heavy involvement for England during the international break and the recent 0-0 draw with Manchester United.
Milner was a standout figure in the Liverpool rout, thriving in the free midfield role he was given and proving to be a surprise attacking influence.
Reds supporters have since deemed him worthy of a place in the starting eleven for Sunday’s clash with Spurs, with Klopp himself hailing the former England international as a vital member of his squad- despite his lack of game time.
That said, the likelihood is that Henderson reclaims his place at the heart of Liverpool’s midfield, between a familiar duo of Emre Can and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Liverpool’s central trio will be responsible for one of the most important jobs on the day in cutting off the link between Harry Kane and the likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli.
Rotation in defence
Klopp has developed a tendency this season to switch between the use of Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
The German put his faith in Gomez in last weekend’s draw at home to Manchester United, before giving the nod to Alexander-Arnold against Maribor during the week.
It seems Gomez is viewed as the more defensively reliable option, which is why the England U21 captain is likely to feature from the off against Spurs.
As an avid admirer of Tottenham’s attacking fire power, Klopp will undoubtedly be paying special attention to strengthening his back four.
Beside Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren will lineup at centre-back alongside the rejuvenated Alberto Moreno at left-back.
With Loris Karius having featured in the Champions League, Simon Mignolet also looks certain to start in the capital.
Unchanged front three… hopefully
Tuesday’s emphatic win will have been a reminder to Tottenham that goals can come from anywhere in this Liverpool team.
With Sadio Mane out injured for around six weeks, Klopp’s attacking trio decides itself.
Whilst Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino look set to start, there remains to be slight uncertainty over Philippe Coutinho after the Brazilian appeared to miss Friday’s training session at Melwood.
Klopp confirmed a few minor fitness issues across the team after the game against Maribor, meaning Coutinho’s absence could have simply been precautionary.
If not, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Daniel Sturridge will be pushing for game time.
Here’s how the Reds are likely to setup…