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Predicted Liverpool starting line-up v Southampton

Liverpool defender Kostas Tsimikas set to sign new contract

Liverpool will take on Southampton in the FA Cup fifth-round clash on Wednesday (28 February) at Anfield. 

Fresh after winning the Carabao Cup by beating Chelsea 1-0 in extra time, the Reds will be focussing on winning the other three major trophies they are competing for at the moment.

The performance from Liverpool youngsters during the League Cup clash against Chelsea will have given plenty of optimism in the Reds’ camp, but Jurgen Klopp will now be really worried about the number of injuries his side is currently dealing with.

The midfield has been reduced to bare bones after Ryan Gravenberch picked up an injury in the previous game. He is definitely out for this fixture, but Klopp is hopeful that the Dutch midfielder won’t be out for a long time on the sidelines.

Thiago Alcantara is another player who is probably out for the rest of the season, and he may not play again for the Reds with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

Wataru Endo was phenomenal against Chelsea but he could miss this fixture as well after picking up a heavy knock. With Curtis Jones and Dominik Szoboszlai still not fully fit yet, Klopp will rely on young James McConnell who was outstanding for the Reds against the Blues after coming on as a sub.

The 19-year-old showed great composure on the ball and maturity, and Klopp can trust him to play in midfield alongside Harvey Elliott and Alexis MacAllister.

In defence, Ibrahima Konate could be given a rest, and Jarell Quansah, who has already established as a regular member of this side, should partner alongside skipper Virgil van Dijk.

Klopp could also be tempted to rest Andy Robertson (or use him from the bench), and bring in Kostas Tsimikas into the starting line-up. The 27-year-old defender played a big role in the last game as Van Dijk scored from his corner.

The Reds boss also confirmed today that Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez are touch and go at the moment. In that case, Nunez probably would be able to start, although Luis Diaz is desperately in need of some rest.

Southampton are in the mix for an automatic promotion this season, and the Championship club are capable of causing an upset. Klopp is likely to make four changes from the side that started against Chelsea, with Quansah, Tsimikas, McConnell and Nunez coming in for Konate, Endo, Robertson, and Gravenberch.

Predicted Liverpool starting XI: Kelleher, Van Dijk, Quansah, Tsimikas, Bradley, Mac Allister, Elliott, McConnell, Diaz, Gakpo, Nunez.

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