A winter break will have come as a much-welcome addition to the football calendar, despite the momentum Liverpool had built up over the month of January, as the Reds took the time to welcome back injured stars.
The return of Thiago Alcantara and Harvey Elliott to team training hands Jurgen Klopp a considerable boost in the creative department, with the midfield having been accused of lacking as much through various parts of the term.
The German will, however, continue to be without the world-class talents of his first-choice wide men in Mo Salah and Sadio Mane – both of whom have booked a place in the final of the AFCON tournament with their respective nations.
READ MORE: Near 4,000 Liverpool fans have their say on who they want to win AFCON as Sadio Mane vs. Mo Salah looms
In between the sticks, Caoimhin Kelleher starts with Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate providing cover in the centre of the backline.
In midfield, skipper Jordan Henderson is joined by Naby Keita and Curtis Jones.
A start comes too soon for winter signing, Luis Diaz, as Klopp gives the nod to Taki Minamino, Diogo Jota and Bobby Firmino.
Interestingly, the Colombian does make an appearance too on the subs bench and could be in line for a cameo at Anfield.
You can catch the final XI selected below, courtesy of @LFC:
And the team news is… LIVE! Domestic football has returned and #LFC are set to face Cardiff City in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. The XI you expected Klopp to name? 👀 pic.twitter.com/MrKhkxCTip
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) February 6, 2022
#Ep32 of The Red Nets Podcast: Portuguese football expert’s exciting Diaz analysis, rating our transfer window… and more!