Takumi Minamino is set to make his Liverpool debut, while Divock Origi and Rhian Brewster should return when the Reds take on Everton in the FA Cup third round.
Liverpool will be hoping to book safe passage through to the fourth round of the FA Cup when they play hosts to Everton at Anfield on Sunday evening. And, Jurgen Klopp has seen his squad’s injury woes deepen further ahead of the Reds’ latest fixture.
Liverpool fans, though, are likely to be waiting with bated breaths to see the club’s latest acquisition in action for the first time on Sunday. Takumi Minamino, signed from Red Bull Salzburg, is in line to make his debut for the Merseyside club.
Much like Virgil van Dijk two years ago at the exact same stage in the FA Cup, Minamino is in line for his Liverpool debut against Everton. And, Jurgen Klopp talked up the prospect during his pre-match press conference.
“Takumi is here and had three sessions with the team now, that’s not so much. But it’s football still. He had kind of time off when Salzburg went into the winter break, he had time off and we were not allowed to bring him here to train with us in that time. He was back in Japan, which was nice as well. He came here in a good shape. So, let’s see.”
Apart from Minamino’s inclusion, other widespread changes are in the offing as well, starting in goal, with Adrian likely to start in place of Alisson Becker. Some shuffles are in order in defence as well, with Klopp seeing the Everton game as a chance to rest some of the regulars.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and van Dijk might all get a breather, with Joe Gomez the only regular set to start once again. Gomez should have Nat Phillips as his partner at the heart of the Liverpool defence. James Milner ought to drop down to the backline, starting as the left-back, with Ki-Jana Hoever deployed on the right.
Up ahead in midfield, Klopp’s options are limited, with Naby Keita joining Fabinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the sidelines. With Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum due a rest, Curtis Jones and Adam Lallana pick themselves in what is likely to be a double pivot.
Minamino ought to reprise the no. 10 role, and another set of changes is on the cards in attack as well. One possible shuffle could see Rhian Brewster returning to the starting lineup for the first time since October. Klopp spoke of the possibility during his presser.
“First of all, if nothing happens Rhian will be in the squad on Sunday. That’s the first thing and then we will see. He [has been] training for five or six days, he wasn’t out for too long – it was only a little thing but it was enough so he wasn’t available and now he’s back in training and will be involved in the squad.”
Brewster ought to lead the line for Liverpool against Everton, with Minamino playing off him. Divock Origi should start out on the left flank, with Harvey Elliott taking his place on the right wing.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Adrian; Hoever, Gomez, Phillips, Milner; Jones, Lallana; Elliott, Minamino, Origi; Brewster