Naby Keita, Roberto Firmino and Ibrahima Konate will return to the starting lineup when Liverpool and Benfica face off at Anfield on Wednesday.
Liverpool will look to progress to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals when they play hosts to Benfica at Anfield in the quarter-final second leg on Wednesday night. And Jurgen Klopp will have a full-strength squad at his disposal ahead of his side’s latest fixture.
The Reds did not have any casualties from the game against Manchester City this past weekend, meaning Klopp can keep his troops fresh by making some efficient rotations. But during his pre-match press conference, the Liverpool manager insisted that the upcoming game versus Manchester City in the FA Cup later this weekend.
Klopp said, “The next game has absolutely no influence on the lineup for tomorrow night, but the last game has. So, we have to see. Obviously it’s a super-intense schedule. There is nobody injured as far as I know in this moment, but we need to have a look [at] who is fresh enough for this game and stuff like this because we see it really as a super-important game.”
“I know we are in the world of football where you win the first leg 3-1 then that means for people who have nothing to do with the game, ‘Yeah, [they are] halfway through.’ Then you play City left and right of the game and it’s like somebody could be with their focus somewhere else. We see it slightly different, to be honest.”
“This is a super, super, super, super, super-important game to us and we said it a couple of times: we tried so hard last year to qualify for the Champions League and now we can make it into the semis, which is incredible. And that’s what we want to show tomorrow night, that it means a lot to us.”
Klopp will make a few alterations to the starting eleven despite his comments, starting with recalling Ibrahima Konate. The young centre-back will pair up with Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence, with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson starting as the full-backs. There is no looking past Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal.
Up ahead in midfield, Naby Keita is in line to earn a starting berth after an impressive performance last week against Benfica. The Guinean midfielder should replace Jordan Henderson, with Curtis Jones coming into the side in place of Thiago Alcantara. Keita and Jones will join Fabinho in the middle of the park.
Finally, Klopp has all his resources available to him in the offensive unit. And while Mohamed Salah has blown hot and cold lately, he will retain his spot on the right-wing. Salah will likely line up alongside Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz in the final third, with Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota getting a breather ahead of the FA Cup clash.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson; Keita, Fabinho, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Diaz