Jurgen Klopp is not too keen to start new arrival Virgil van Dijk on Friday as Liverpool go up against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup.
Liverpool have perhaps, the toughest third round fixture of the Premier League top six in FA Cup. The Merseyside derby is a major standout amid other fixtures in the third round of the FA Cup, with both the teams eager to progress in the cup competition, having already exited from the EFL Cup.
Jurgen Klopp has Virgil van Dijk finally available, after the Dutchman completed his move to Liverpool. However, amid anticipation of the defender’s debut, the manager iterated in his pre-match conference that he is yet undecided on whether to hand his new arrival a debut in the Merseyside derby on Friday.
“He is healthy and now I have a decision to make for this game. It is not finally done, so we will see what we do with him. As I have said before, from our point of view there is no rush for us in this situation and it’s much more important how many good games he can play for us than how many and when it starts.”
The manager has also confirmed Simon Mignolet’s absence, confirming that Loris Karius will guard the Liverpool goal on Friday, with Danny Ward likely to be on the bench. Despite Klopp being coy on van Dijk’s inclusion, we believe the player will be handed his debut, with Joel Matip set to be his partner on the day, after the latter was rested against Burnley.
The point of contention is the absence of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho, which could see Klopp stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation he fielded against Burnley. At the tip of the midfield, James Milner should partner Georginio Wijnaldum, with Adam Lallana likely to make back-to-back starts.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino should be on either side of the Englishman, with Dominic Solanke likely to make up the numbers upfront. Alternatively, we could see Firmino lead the line, if Sadio Mane is available, who will take Firmino’s place on the wing.