Klopp to ring changes in tricky team selection
Paul Gorst: Quietly, this is one of the most difficult team selections of the season for Jurgen Klopp.
After 120 draining minutes at Wembley, the Liverpool boss finds himself without Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk and in desperate need of maximum points to keep the heat on Man City.
Expect changes then. And plenty of them.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson can rest up on the bench. Joe Gomez and FA Cup final hero Kostas Tsimikas start at right and left-back respectively with Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip in the centre.
In midfield, James Milner returns alongside Naby Keita and Curtis Jones with a recall to the bench for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
And up top, Sadio Mane can move out to the left in place of Luis Diaz. Diogo Jota can start down the right and Divock Origi is recalled. Roberto Firmino can wait in the wings alongside Diaz.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson; Milner, Jones, Keita; Jota, Origi, Mane.
Ian Doyle: If you thought rotation had been heavy before this evening, then just wait until you see the Liverpool line-up at Southampton.
It’ll sport a lot of changes. And, for me, there should be as many as possible.
Apart from in goal, Alisson Becker can stay there. And Ibrahima Konate can remain at centre-back. After that, though, it’s almost a complete switch. Kostas Tsimikas and Joe Gomez fill the full-backs roles while Joel Matip is back in the other central defensive slot.
In midfield, James Milner can play in the defensive midfield role, with Curtis Jones and Naby Keita in advanced roles ahead of him.
And up top, Roberto Firmino is in down the centre, Diogo Jota can go on the left and Takumi Minamino gets a run-out down the right, because, well, he’s probably a bit more ready than Harvey Elliott. Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the first two subs, by the way.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Konate, Tsimikas; Milner, Jones, Keita; Minamino, Firmino, Jota.
Origi gets the nod with big names on bench
Theo Squires: No Mohamed Salah, no Virgil van Dijk, no Fabinho and Liverpool played 120 minutes against Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Sunday. The Reds might have to beat Southampton to keep maximum pressure on Man City in the title-race, but this side is going to look a little funky!
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson are going to have to go again after Wembley, despite playing the full 120 minutes, but it’s fresher legs elsewhere with match-winner Kostas Tsimikas, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all coming into the back four.
James Milner impressed off the bench against Chelsea while Naby Keita did well before being substituted, so they can both start either side of the captain and hopefully replicate the impressive midfield display we saw away at Newcastle United last month.
Meanwhile, it’s a new-look front three with Roberto Firmino leading the line, Diogo Jota starting on the right with Divock Origi on the left. Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane can be called upon from the bench if needed.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez Tsimikas; Keita, Henderson, Milner; Jota, Firmino, Origi.
Five changes with sub plan for second half
Will Pickworth: It’s a tricky line-up for Jurgen Klopp to select tonight just three days after a gruelling 120 minutes against Chelsea. With both Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk ruled out, the German has promised further changes and explained that he will use his squad depth.
With Salah’s injury, although Klopp expects him to be fit for Paris, Sadio Mane becomes even more important ahead of the Champions League final and Sunday’s Premier League final, so I would put him on the bench for this one after a physically and mentally demanding FA Final Cup.
Roberto Firmino comes in for him and is joined by Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, who had a breather – if we can call it that – on Saturday by being replaced in extra time. Midfield is a tough one as again like Salah, with Fabinho’s injury, Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson need to be wrapped up in cotton wool.
Naby Keita was replaced after 74 minutes so he should be good to go again, while Curtis Jones will add energy and James Milner can provide the experience sitting deeper.
In defence, Joel Matip replaces Van Dijk and his rotation throughout the season with Konate means that the Frenchman should partner him. Despite his heroics, Kostas Tsimikas misses out as Andy Robertson was absent for last week’s trip to Aston Villa while Liverpool need Trent Alexander-Arnold tonight. Five changes with Mane and Thiago to come off the bench in the second half.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson; Milner, Keita, Jones; Diaz, Firmino, Jota.