Liverpool might make nine changes against Southampton as new injury concerns arise

According to liverpoolecho, Liverpool delivered one of their all-time greatest final performances on Sunday afternoon, defeating Chelsea despite the odds to win the League Cup. Virgil van Dijk’s goal two minutes before the end of regular time gave the injury-ravaged Reds a well-deserved 1-0 victory at Wembley Stadium, allowing them to win the trophy for the 10th time.

Liverpool will now try to complete a quadruple when they face Southampton in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening. And here, we look ahead to the adjustments Jurgen Klopp may make when his squad returns to play. Following Chelsea’s triumph, Klopp joked that everyone who could don a Liverpool shirt had a chance to play against Southampton. And, with injury concerns and the need to rotate, the Reds are expected to be far from full strength for the arrival of the Championship promotion hopes.

Difficult decisions are made throughout the team. One is in goal, where, with Alisson Becker out for at least another month, Caoimhin Kelleher is now the first choice and might be rested for Adrian, who has not played since the Community Shield at the start of last season.

Van Dijk has played every minute in 14 of the past 16 games and might benefit from a respite at centre-back, while Ibrahima Konate was unable to complete the game at Wembley. Jarell Quansah appears to be the most likely starter, with Joe Gomez another alternative. Joel Matip stays out.

Gomez, on the other hand, may be required at right-back, with Conor Bradley tired in the second half at Wembley and Trent Alexander-Arnold sidelined until at least the end of next month’s international break. Liverpool are at least endowed with choices at left-back, where Kostas Tsimikas, who impressed from the bench at Wembley, may rotate with Andy Robertson.

McConnell calls

The sight of Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch leaving the national stadium on crutches tempered the Reds’ aspirations of winning additional championships this season. While the former’s ailment isn’t as bad as the latter’s, neither will be expected to play on Wednesday. Alexis MacAllister was fatigued when he was removed near the conclusion of the second half at Wembley Stadium, and he would make a surprising start against Southampton. And with Curtis Jones, Thiago Alcantara, and Stefan Bajcetic all sidelined, Liverpool has very few options in the engine room.

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James McConnell, who started as the number six in the FA Cup fourth round win over Norwich City and was excellent when playing further forward from the bench at Wembley, is expected to be the defensive midfielder, while Bobby Clark, who was also outstanding as a substitute on Sunday, may make only his second senior start.

Harvey Elliott or Cody Gakpo may move into the third midfield position, however Elliott played the entire 120 minutes and Gakpo was needed up front and was removed before the conclusion of regular time. As a result, the return of Dominik Szoboszlai would be timely if the Hungarian can show his health after more than three weeks away. Trey Nyoni, 16, was on the bench at Wembley.

Is Gordon alive?

Klopp’s attacking strategy is largely contingent on the availability of Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez. If, as predicted, the two remain out, the Reds’ only senior alternatives are the three that began at Wembley Stadium: Gakpo, Elliott, and Luis Diaz, who, like Elliott, played the full game. It appears improbable that all three will continue.

Bradley was shunted to the right flank for a portion of the game against Chelsea, while 18-year-old center striker Jayden Danns has excelled off the bench in the last two games and might start. Kaide Gordon might be another possibility on the wing, while another youngster Lewis Koumas was one of the replacements on Sunday. Ben Doak and Diogo Jota are absent, although 17-year-old winger Trent Kone-Doherty has lately trained with the first squad.

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