OPINION By Coral Barry
Divock Origi could be called upon to start by Jurgen Klopp as the German considers major changes in the aftermath of the League Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Liverpool host the Sky Blues on Wednesday night, just three days after suffering heartbreak at the hands of City in a nerve-racking penalty shoot-out.
The extra-time is sure to have had an effect on several Liverpool players, with Daniel Sturridge in particular looking exhausted by the game’s end.
Adam Lallana and Divock Origi were introduced late-on in normal time and both are likely to be pushing for a start after impressing.
Liverpool struggled to produce any real moments of magic against City, with Philippe Coutinho’s equaliser in the 83rd minute their first shot on target.
Origi’s arrival provided Klopp’s midfielders with a willing runner and the striker’s directness is likely to once again put him ahead of Christian Benteke in the pecking order.
At the other end of the pitch, all eyes will be on Mamadou Sakho and whether he will have recovered from concussion after a clash of heads with Emre Can forced the Frenchman off on Sunday, much to his disappointment.
If Sakho misses out, it could mean that midfielder Lucas Leiva continues at centre-back and is likely to be partnered by either the fit-again Dejan Lovren or Kolo Toure.
Full-back John Flanagan is another who is knocking on the door after the latest in a series of below-par displays from Alberto Moreno on Sunday puts his place at risk.
Liverpool’s quest for Champions League football, via the Premier League, is surely over as they sit 11 points behind City in fourth and it is expected that Klopp’s priority will turn to attempting to win the Europa League.
The manager should shuffle his pack against both City and, then, against Crystal Palace on Sunday as he keeps his big guns fresh for the first leg of the Europa League last-16 showdown with Manchester United on Thursday of next week.
Liverpool 4-3-3 (possible): Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Lucas, Flanagan; Milner, Can, Henderson; Firmino, Origi, Lallana