Liverpool will host West Ham United at Anfield tonight in the Carabao Cup quarter-final. There will be hope that a more convincing performance will occur under the lights compared to the fixture against Manchester United on Sunday.
The Reds will be swiftly back in action in front of home support this evening after their goalless draw at the weekend, and Jurgen Klopp will have a challenge rotating his squad after they suffered several injury setbacks.
Pep Lijnders took the pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s clash with David Moyes’ side and revealed the latest concerns with the fixture in mind.
Ryan Gravenberch was hooked in the second half of the game against Man United and according to the assistant Liverpool manager, he is suffering with fatigue:
“We thought there was really something, he came off during the game and you saw immediately when he came off what that did to the team as well, he was playing really well.”
“Especially against these man-marking sides he plays unbelievable. But he had a scan and it’s only DOMS, which is fatigue, so that’s a really good thing. He will train hopefully today, let’s see where he is. We have to be careful of course because that’s a sign. So that’s a good one.”
Alexis Mac Allister is considered unlikely to return from his knee injury in time to take part in the quarter-final showdown tonight, alongside Thiago Alcantara, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, Andrew Robertson and Stefan Bajcetic who will remain unavailable for selection, as per Premier League Injuries.
How could Liverpool line-up against West Ham?
We predict that Klopp will make five changes to the starting eleven he led out in the Premier League at the weekend but will retain his classic 4-3-3 formation as always.
We expect Caoimhin Kelleher to replace Alisson Becker in goal with an altered back four protecting him from the Hammers’ attacking threat with Jarell Quansah and Joe Gomez joining Kostas Tsimikas and club captain Virgil van Dijk in the defensive set up.
In the centre of the pitch, we predict their will be a shake up following the fatigue issues, with Gravenberch and Mac Allister looking unlikely to participate and Dominik Szoboszlai potentially rested for the upcoming Premier League clash with Arsenal.
Therefore, whilst Wataru Endo will retain his spot in the defensive midfield role, both Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott could be seen starting together in the more advanced playmaking roles in midfield.
With that being said, it will be a challenging fixture for the Reds so ensuring experience and top quality is in the spine of the starting line-up will be essential to take an early lead and comfortably progress to the semi-final of the cup competition.