PREVIEW By Alex Stevens
Liverpool must win at Southampton for the second time this season if they are to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.
A run of three consecutive Premier League wins, combined with the Europa League triumph over Manchester United, has boosted confidence in a team that is taking impressive shape under Jurgen Klopp.
The charismatic German made it clear in the double-header against United which players make his strongest X1.
The big dilemma for Klopp is whether to tweak a team that held Louis van Gaal’s side at bay at Old Trafford on Thursday night to clinch a quarter-final clash against Borussia Dortmund.
The quick turn-around in fixtures – Sunday’s clash is a 1.30pm kick-off – could mean that Daniel Sturridge drops to the bench at St Mary’s Stadium, with Divock Origi restored to the team.
The Belgian striker scored a hat-trick in the 6-1 League Cup win over Southampton in December, on a night when Liverpool tore Ronald Koeman’s side apart and Sturridge also weighed in with a brace.
One enforced change will come at full-back as James Milner, who filled in for the injured Alberto Moreno in midweek, serves a one-match suspension.
If Moreno fails a fitness test, then Jon Flanagan is likely to start at right-back, with Nathaniel Clyne shifted to left-back.
Martin Skrtel, who has not featured for Liverpool since late December, played for the Under-21s on Wednesday before being sent off for two bookable offences and could come into contention for a place in the matchday 18.
Liverpool (possible): Mignolet; Flanagan, Lovren, Sakho, Clyne; Henderson, Can; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino; Origi.