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How Struggling Liverpool Should Line Up Against Wolves In The FA Cup

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool looks on during the EFL Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on January 25, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

With Liverpool’s season in serious danger of unravelling, the FA Cup has taken on a new level of significance for Jürgen Klopp and his side.

Having spurned the chance to appear in their second EFL Cup in as many seasons on Wednesday, England’s other cup competition is now their greatest chance of earning some silverware this season – and that means that that  they cannot afford to lose at home for the third time in a week with Championship side Wolves coming to Anfield.

However, there is the small matter of a Premier League clash against league leaders Chelsea just three days later, where defeat would kill off what little title hopes they have left and would be a serious blow to their top four aspirations.

If nothing else, a second win in eight games would be brilliant for morale, so while Klopp will undoubtedly make changes on Saturday, Wolves must be respected highly enough to the point where whatever team he puts out will have to be at their best to defeat the visitors.

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Goalkeeper:

Loris Karius

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Loris Karius of Liverpool looks on during the EFL Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on January 25, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

If any player came through the torrid displays against Southampton with any credit, it was Karius. The young German made a number of fine saves to keep the score down in both legs, showing exactly why Klopp brought him to the club in the first place.

It’s a long road ahead for the 23-year-old, but his response to being dropped for Simon Mignolet has been exemplary and he will get another chance to impress this weekend.

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Defenders:

Right-Back: Trent Alexander-Arnold

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool during the EFL Cup Semi-Final second leg match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on January 25, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Centre-Back: Joel Matip

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Jay Rodriguez of Southampton closes down Joel Matip of Liverpool during the EFL Cup Semi-Final Second Leg match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield on January 25, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Centre-Back: Joe Gomez

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Joe Gomez of Liverpool during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on December 29, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Left-Back: Alberto Moreno

BIRKENHEAD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Alberto Moreno of Liverpool during the Liverpool v Ipswich Town Premier league Cup game at Prenton Park on January 22, 2017 in Birkenhead, England. (Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Trent Alexander-Arnold could not have dreamed of having so much match time in his early Liverpool career, but Nathaniel Clyne’s injury issues have made the 18-year-old’s inclusion a necessity. That being said, the young defender has been giving a fine account of himself and can do so once again on Saturday.

In the centre, Joe Gomez is likely to be given another chance to ease his way back into first-team contention, having started in both matches against Plymouth. Gomez is set to be given a new long-term deal at Anfield and will be a big part of Klopp’s plans going forward.

Next to the 19-year-old, Joel Matip could be given another start ahead of Lucas Leiva or Ragnar Klavan. The Cameroonian centre-half made his long-awaited return from injury and FIFA red tape against Southampton in midweek, and despite the Chelsea match coming up, Matip’s involvement against Wolves could be needed.

As for Moreno, as Liverpool’s second-choice left-back he is almost certain to get the nod but his performances in the role lately would not exactly have been worrying for James Milner.

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Midfielders:

Defensive Midfield: Kevin Stewart

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: Craig Tanner of Plymouth Argyle (L) is fouled by Kevin Stewart of Liverpool (R) during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Liverpool and Plymouth Argyle at Anfield on January 8, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Centre Midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool holds off Steven Davis of Southampton during the EFL Cup semi-final first leg match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on January 11, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Centre Midfield: Adam Lallana

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11: Adam Lallana of Liverpool beats Oriol Romeu of Southampton ot the ball during the EFL Cup semi-final first leg match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on January 11, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Kevin Stewart had looked like becoming Liverpool’s “Mr. Dependable” at the beginning of the season, used at the end of matches to shore things up and see out the match. However, he has not played in the league since September and defeat on Saturday could spell the end of his involvement in the first team for this campaign.

Wijnaldum, meanwhile, was introduced as a late substitute against Southampton, but has solidified his place in the regular starting eleven. That being said, the Dutch international needs a big performance soon (as do the rest of the team, to be fair).

Lallana was restored to what is seen as his better position of central midfield in midweek, and would have no qualms with playing in three matches in less than a week. The only concern would be that Klopp has confirmed that he needed stitches after the Southampton match, which could rule him out in the end.

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Forwards:

Right Wing: Roberto Firmino

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on January 21, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Left Wing: Sheyi Ojo

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: Sheyi Ojo of Liverpool (L) and David Fox of Plymouth Argyle (R) battle for possession during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Liverpool and Plymouth Argyle at Anfield on January 8, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Striker: Divock Origi

PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Divock Origi of Liverpool holds off Sonny Bradley of Plymouth Argyle during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Plymouth Argyle and Liverpool at Home Park on January 18, 2017 in Plymouth, England. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Roberto Firmino’s two goals against Swansea last weekend were a welcome return to form for the Brazilian, and with Sadio Mané still on international duty, he is arguably Liverpool’s biggest attacking threat and should be kept in, even with one eye on Tuesday.

On the other flank, it would be wise to give Philippe Coutinho a rest and start young Sheyi Ojo. Klopp slightly criticised the 19-year-old’s lack of focus against Plymouth but has been impressed with his response since, so Ojo could well start against the club he spent some time with on loan last season.

In the centre, it’s a coin toss as to which of Liverpool’s misfiring strikers starts. Origi’s goalscoring form has taken a nosedive since a decent run in December, while Sturridge has scored just twice in his last eleven games. Neither would inspire confidence right now, but with Sturridge starting on Wednesday it’s probably Origi’s turn to step up.

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Liverpool Wolves

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Author: The PA Team

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