Can axed among eight changes in Klopp 4-3-3: Liverpool best possible XI to face Southampton
By Emma Sanders
Kevin Stewart should start against Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening ahead of Emre Can.
The 23-year-old midfielder has started just three games for the Reds but he should be given another opportunity as Can has looked sluggish in recent games and should pay the price with the axe.
Ben Woodburn started in attack in the goalless draw against Plymouth on Monday but he should also retain his place for the semi-final as cover for Sadio Mane who has left on Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Jurgen Klopp should make eight changes to the side so only Stewart, Loris Karius and Woodburn should retain their places in the starting XI.
The 17-year-old became the club’s youngest ever goal-scorer in the last round against Leeds so he will be hoping to make an impact and should line-up alongside Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino.
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That would mean dropping Divock Origi to the bench but Sturridge has looked sharp since returning from injury and he is Liverpool’s biggest goal threat.
Adam Lallana has been in sensational form so is the obvious first choice midfielder but Liverpool are expected to be without Jordan Henderson.
The skipper was forced to miss the last clash through injury and he is likely to remain absent so Georginio Wijnaldum should be given the nod.
Joel Matip is still expected to miss out, which means Klopp should revert to the same back four that has brought relative success in recent weeks.
Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren should all come back into the side but Karius should keep his place in goal as Klopp has used his number two in all cup competitions so far.
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