Ian Doyle – Takumi Minamino starts
The FA Cup is better than the League Cup. And now that’s sorted, Liverpool have to treat today’s quarter-final at Nottingham Forest accordingly.
And that means putting out as strong a team as they can bear in mind the injuries and tiredness of players. There are some tricky calls, although some have been made already by Jurgen Klopp.
Alisson Becker being in goal is one. As for the rest of the defence, Kostas Tsimikas can come in at left-back and I’d want Joe Gomez at right back, which means Virgil van Dijk stays at centre-back and can be joined by Ibrahima Konate.
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Midfield, as ever, is a tricky one. That five substitutions are allowed will be a bonus for Klopp to chop and change. So I’d go with Jordan Henderson in the defensive midfield role with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita in front of him. The likes of Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott can come on a bit later.
Up top, Roberto Firmino is due a start, while Takumi Minamino can go on the left and Luis Diaz a stint on the right. Divock Origi can play at some point, too.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita; Diaz, Firmino, Minamino.
Paul Gorst – Curtis Jones in midfield
With no game until April 2 after today, Jurgen Klopp has the luxury of going fairly strong at the City Ground.
With three trophies still to chase, the luck of the draws are needed so it’d be a huge own goal if the Reds took Forest too lightly today and slipped up.
The chance of another Wembley trip is staring them in the face so a professional display will be needed against a Championship side who are looking for their third Premier League scalp.
So with that in mind, I’m picking a team that is a mix of players who could use the minutes alongside some more regular incumbents.
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Joe Gomez starts at centre-back alongside Virgil van Dijk as Kostas Tsimikas and James Milner complete the back four.
In midfield, I’m picking Fabinho alongside Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and leaving Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita in reserve.
Takumi Minamino can take a place on the right with Luis Diaz on the left. Diogo Jota continues down the middle, despite strong claims from Divock Origi.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Milner, Van Dijk, Gomez, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Minamino, Jota, Diaz
Hannah Pinnock – Harvey Elliott returns
I expect a relatively strong team from Klopp, but there are some tricky decisions to make.
Alisson will start in goal, but there will need to be some changes in the back four. Gomez will likely come in for Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Konate will be given the chance to partner Van Dijk. Andy Robertson is in need of some rest, so it’s the perfect opportunity for Tsimikas.
In midfield I anticipate Henderson will keep his place, but I feel like Naby Keita should also come in for this one. Then it’s a toss up between Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, and Harvey Elliott for me. Personally, I’d like to see Elliott given another go.
Further forward there are some big decisions to make with plenty of options. I imagine Minamino will be given the nod, Firmino is in need of game time, but I’d like to see at least one of Mane or Salah. Given the question marks over Salah’s fitness, I expect Mane to start.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Henderson, Keita, Elliott; Minamino, Firmino, Mane
Sam Carroll – Divock Origi returns
Why not experiment a little?
Okay, Liverpool are hoping to lift a quadruple this season but it can’t hurt to put some fresh faces in at Nottingham Forest.
The impressive young talent Conor Bradley starts at right-back after training with the first-team this season while Curtis Jones also begins in midfield. Harvey Elliott narrowly misses out for Naby Keita to add balance alongside Fabinho.
Divock Origi deserves a start up-front flanked by Luis Diaz and Takumi Minamino.
My team (4-3-3): Alisson; Bradley, Gomez, Konate, Tsimikas; Jones, Fabinho, Keita; Minamino, Origi, Diaz.