Liverpool expected 4-3-3 v Southampton: Teen sensation starts despite eight changes
By Emma Sanders
Jurgen Klopp could make eight changes to the side which was held to a goalless draw by Plymouth when they take on Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
Loris Karius, Ben Woodburn and Emre Can could be the three players who retain their places.
Philippe Coutinho could return to the squad after Klopp revealed the forward is back in full training and is fit enough to be selected, though it is unlikely he will start after missing over five weeks of action.
Sadio Mane is unavailable as he has left the squad to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations, so teenage sensation Woodburn could be handed a start in his place.
The youngster looked sharp against Plymouth and he became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer in the 2-0 victory over Leeds in the quarter-final of this competition.
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Alongside Woodburn in attack, Daniel Sturridge could be handed a start in the centre ahead of Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino is likely to come back into the side in place of Sheyi Ojo.
Adam Lallana should return to his usual role as an attacker midfielder but Klopp is expected to select Can ahead of Jordan Henderson who was forced to miss the fixture against Plymouth.
Klopp said the skipper was in a “very good way” in his press conference but this match will come too soon and Manchester United are looming at the weekend.
Giorginio Wijnaldum is expected to replace Kevin Stewart and James Milner could also return to the side while Alberto Moreno misses out.
Joel Matip could return to the squad but it’s likely he will sit out until the United clash so Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren should continue at centre-back, while Nathaniel Clyne returns to the right full-back position.
Karius is expected to remain in goal after featuring in the FA Cup as Klopp has rotated his number one for the cup competitions so far this season.
In other Liverpool news, fans react to Ilori’s deal with Reading.