Liverpool could take advantage of their rejuvenated squad depth by fielding significantly changed starting eleven against Norwich at Anfield this afternoon (3pm). The Reds come into the game off the back of a Champions League last-16 first-leg win at Inter Milan and know they face Leeds next midweek before taking on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final a week tomorrow, which may impact Jurgen Klopp‘s thinking here. Express Sport takes a look at how Liverpool may line up to face the Canaries.
Klopp has confirmed that Caoimhin Kelleher will start against Chelsea in the League Cup final and while the Irishman is a fine deputy, No 1 goalkeeper Alisson should keep his starting spot here.
The Brazilian has been almost imperious in the league this season and only Manchester City’s Ederson (14) has more than clean sheets than his 12.
Alisson was not forced to make a single save by Inter in midweek but made a few fine stops against Burnley last weekend and will be looking for a fourth successive shut-out across all competitions here.
Defence: Milner, Konate, Gomez, Tsimikas
Liverpool boast great depth now that they have so few injuries and they could feasibly change their entire back-line against Norwich. Virgil Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate were brilliant together in Europe earlier this week.
Van Dijk has played more minutes than any other Liverpool player this season though and could be benched here, but Konate may keep his starting spot with the view to the Dutchman and Joel Matip starting the next two matches together.
That could see Joe Gomez make just his fifth start of the season here. Gomez has yet to start in the league and has not even made the match-day squad for the past two games. He has partnered Konate on several occasions and Klopp will be confident the pair are good enough to quell any threat from Norwich.
Kostas Tsimikas has been excellent whenever he’s replaced Andy Robertson this season and should start at left-back while James Milner could come in for Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
Gomez is also a contender to play as the right-sided full-back, which would allow Matip to return, but Milner has superior crossing ability that makes him a better stand-in for Trent Alexander-Arnold – the second most-used outfield player in the squad.
Attack: Salah, Firmino, Diaz
Klopp has confirmed Diogo Jota will play no part against Norwich today due to an ankle injury while Sadio Mane could be rested having started both of his matches since returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty, even though he’s been substituted off in both.
Mohamed Salah has started Liverpool’s last two too and played the full 90 against Inter but the Premier League’s top scorer will be eager to add to his goal tally having only netted once in his past five top-flight matches.
With Jota out, Roberto Firmino should start centrally after scoring off the bench in Europe. And on the left-hand side, January signing Luis Diaz could make his second start for the club after some lively cameos. He has only played 31 minutes of the last 180 and so is fresh and raring to go.
Expected Liverpool XI vs Norwich (4-3-3): Alisson; Milner, Konate, Gomez, Tsimikas; Fabinho, Keita, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Diaz
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