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Predicted Liverpool starting line-up v Chelsea

Liverpool will look to win their first trophy of the season when they face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday (25 February). 

The Reds are heading into this match on the back of a 4-1 win against Luton Town in the Premier League. After a poor first half, Liverpool produced their true quality and eventually ended up picking up all three points with a depleted squad.

However, on Sunday, it will be a new game, and the pressure of playing the final is enormous. Chelsea have looked solid in recent games and played really well in the 1-1 draw against Manchester City last week.

The central talking point at the moment is whether Liverpool will get back some of their key players for this game, and Pep Lijnders didn’t come up with a definite answer in his pre-match press conference either.

Lijnders confirmed that Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones are unlikely to return before the international break, which means they are not only set to miss the final against Chelsea but will also miss the crucial Premier League clash against Manchester City on 10 March.

Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah weren’t risked in the previous game while Dominik Szoboszlai is still missing. Lijnders says that these three players could be involved in the final, but the club will decide at the last minute.

Jurgen Klopp could be tempted to throw both Salah and Nunez into the mix in such a big game. However, there are plenty of games left to be played and Klopp cannot afford to take a big gamble here. At best, he can use them from the bench.

In that case, Klopp is likely to bring back Ibrahima Konate into the starting line-up. Jarrell Quansah started the previous game against Luton, but he is likely to make way for the 24-year-old French defender who has been outstanding this season.

Another player who is almost certain to start is Andy Robertson. Klopp will have to make a bold call between Joe Gomez and Conor Bradley. Gomez is experienced and knows how to handle pressure, but Bradley is in top form and brings a lot more to the table.

Predicted Liverpool starting line-up: Kelleher, Robertson, Van Dijk, Konate, Bradley, Endo Wataru, MacAllister, Gravenberch, Diaz, Gakpo, Elliott.

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